Feds Asked To Investigate E-Cig Companies For Kid-Focused Advertising

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Feds Asked To Investigate E-Cig Companies For Kid-Focused Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission is taking public comments on a proposed study of the e-cigarette industry, and Comptroller Scott Stringer wants the agency to look into e-cig makers marketing their noxious wares to kids. In his testimony to the commission, the Daily News reports, Stringer said the new crop of nicotine delivery devices is using the old, now-banned tricks of the tobacco industry to get the populace hooked young.

“The same companies that peddled ‘Joe Camel’ and similar, kid-friendly images to an earlier generation are back with new ad strategies that appear to target e-cigarettes just as explicitly toward children and teens, with little or no regard for any potential health impacts,” he wrote.

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If it’s good enough for Santa… (Comptroller’s Office)

E-cigarette use is on the rise among kids as cigarette smoking continues to decline. A Center for Disease Control study last year found that 13.4 percent of youngsters surveyed had vaped in the past month, versus less than 10 percent who had puffed a square.

The ban on marketing cigarettes to kids came out of a landmark 1998 settlement agreement between the attorneys general of 46 states and big tobacco companies. In addition to mandating $200 billion in payments, the terms prohibited using cartoons, outdoor advertising, free samples at all-ages events, distributing cigarette-branded clothes, and more.

Now, the largely unregulated e-cigarette industry is advertising on subways, buses, and billboards, and as Stringer notes, in magazines and on TV, at summer concerts, with celebrity endorsers, and with cartoons, including one of Santa. Fruity flavors, also banned for tobacco, are back, too.

Stringer writes that while the jury is out on the long-term health effects of vaping, “the research about the damaging health effects of nicotine on adolescent brain development are clear,” and the FTC should scrutinize the industry for truth in marketing.

The comptroller’s comments echo a letter to the FTC by Senate Democrats from around the country.

I can report that looking at old cigarette ads while researching this story activated the animal/fiend part of my brain that is forever altered by smoking, and that smoking is a bad idea. Vaping is less stinky, and it may or may not be healthier, but it’s still addictive, and it looks silly. Mmkay?

‘Popcorn Lung’ disease claim linked to vaping exaggerated, says cardiologist

CAUSEWAY BAY (Hong Kong), Dec 13, 2015:

A recent research finding which suggested that e-cigarette usage could lead users to develop the chronic respiratory condition known as “Popcorn Lung” disease has been blown out of proportion, says a leading cardiologist.

Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, of the University of Patras in Greece, said the recent finding was exaggerated as the report on the matter failed to mention that the chemicals that caused bronchiolitis obliterans, were also present in tobacco cigarette smoke and in larger quantities, too.

Dr Farsalinos was referring to a recent publication in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who evaluated the presence of diacetyl, acetyl propionyl and acetoin in 51 cigarette-like products of different flavours.

The researchers, he pointed out, found at least one of the chemicals in 92% of the samples, with 76% containing diacetyl and recommend urgent action to evaluate the extent of diacetyl exposure from e-cigarettes.

“We did that same study last year and they used our example.

“We found higher levels last year than what they found and those ‘high’ levels were 100 times lower than what was present in tobacco cigarette smoke, so they created, again, this media frenzy,” he said.

Dr Farsalinos said this when met on the sidelines of the “Harm Reduction in Asia – Developing a Regulatory Framework for E-cigarettes Symposium” here on Thursday.

The symposium was organised by regional consumer advocacy group, Factasia.org, in wake of the intense debate over the harm reduction potential of e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative for adult smokers.

The group’s initiative comes at a time when the Hong Kong and Macau governments are considering completely banning the sales of e-cigarettes, with authorities in Malaysia announcing they will regulate rather than ban, and as proposals are expected to be reviewed and voted on by legislators in 2016.

Dr Farsalinos also said there had yet to be a single case of e-cigarette users who had developed the disease, which causes inflammation and scarring to the lungs and constricts breathing, from prolonged use of the device, although it was said that 75% of the vaping liquid refills contained the chemicals involved.

In response to the Harvard study, Dr Farsalinos, in his blogsite, said the article had created false impressions and exaggerated the potential risk from diacetyl and acetyl propionyl exposure through e-cigarettes.

“They failed to mention that these chemicals are present in tobacco cigarette smoke and violated a classical toxicological principle that the amount determines the toxicity and the risk.

“Whether you are healthy or not, smoking will be a much stronger risk factor for health damage compared to any exposure coming from e-cigarettes, at least at the average levels found in our study and the new study,” he wrote.

However, he said he was a strong supporter of removing diacetyl and acetyl propionyl from e-cigarettes.

“Smokers need to be informed about the risk from continuing smoking versus a risk coming from use of diacetyl containing e-liquids.

“We should not forget that the risk of discouraging smokers from using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool is higher than the risk of being exposed to diacetyl and acetyl propionyl at the average levels found in this study,” he said.

E-Cigarette Industry Urges Senators To Save Vaping Businesses From FDA Prohibition

The country’s largest e-cigarette trade group is calling on the Senate Committee on Appropriations to amend an upcoming spending bill with language to save the industry from regulations that could destroy 99 percent of vaping businesses.

The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) said Monday it supports using language from Republican Rep. Tom Cole‘s H.R. 2058 bill that will change the Tobacco Control Act’s Feb. 15, 2007 grandfather date for e-cigarette products to the date of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final rule issuance.

If the FDA’s grandfather date remains unchanged, e-cigarette companies will have to undergo the costly Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) process for every vaping product released after Feb. 15, 2007. The FDA’s proposed rules are currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Reforming the FDA’s rule is of vital importance to the e-cigarette market because the cost of the PMTA process for each individual product can run between $2-10 million. Vaping businesses — which typically sell dozens if not hundreds of these products — will not be able meet this financial burden, putting thousands of jobs at risk and limiting options for vapers.

“Despite tremendous outreach in support of H.R. 2058, its’ passage is not guaranteed and because the FDA has said it lacks the legal authority to change the grandfather date, we are focusing our efforts on the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging members to consider the same language in the House’s Agriculture spending bill which funds the FDA,” says Cynthia Cabrera, president and executive director of SFATA.

“We’re asking Senate members to ‘recede’ to the House provision in final conference before any spending bills are sent to the president’s desk. The good news is that the approved House spending bill doesn’t cut the FDA’s budget, it just precludes them from using any of the funds to implement February 15, 2007 as the deeming date.” The spending bill needs to be passed by Dec. 11 to prevent a government shutdown.

The pro-vaping lobby has already gained a powerful ally in the form of Grover Norquist – president of Americans for Tax Reform. On Nov. 24, Norquist wrote a letter to members of Congress asking them to change the FDA’s grandfather date, warning that “unlike smokers, adult vapor product consumers are becoming single-issue voters who correctly attribute their switch from combustible tobacco products to smoke free alternatives like e-cigarettes to saving their lives. To crush this new and emerging industry would reverse decades of efforts to get people to quit smoking.”