Use of new nicotine delivery devices is on the rise among children and teens


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing a dramatic increase in the use of ecigarettes among children and youth, twelve members of Congress today called on nine ecigarette makers to provide additional information regarding the sale, distribution, labeling, and marketing of their products to children and teens. Currently, ecigarettes are not subject to federal laws and regulations that apply to traditional cigarettes such as the prohibition on selling to persons younger than 18, distribution of free samples, television and radio ads, and having characterizing fruit flavors that appeal to kids.


U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (DIL) was joined by the Chairmen of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (DIA), the Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller (DWV) and the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman (DCA) along with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (DCT), U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (DMA), U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (DOH), U.S. Senator Jack Reed (DRI), U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (DCA), U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (DND), U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (DOR) and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (DNJ).


"For more than four decades a federal ban on cigarette ads for radio and television has helped to deglamorize smoking for young people. Despite claims from some ecigarette makers that they do not market their products to youth and that kids should not have access to their products, ecigarette manufacturers appear to be applying marketing tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to hook a new generation of children," the Members of Congress wrote. "In light of public health concerns regarding exposure to addictive nicotine in ecigarettes and the sharp rise in ecigarette use among teens, we want to better understand your company's policy and practices related to the sale, marketing, and distribution of ecigarettes."


Earlier this month, the CDC released new data showing that use of these products has more than doubled among middle and high school students since the 20112012 school year, and that more than 76 percent of those users said they also smoked conventional cigarettes. The study also found that 1 in 5 middle school students who reported using ecigarettes had never tried conventional cigarettes, which suggests that for young people, ecigarettes could be a gateway to nicotine addiction and smoking. More information on that report is available here .


Today's letter was sent to the following companies: NJOY, Lorillard Inc., Reynolds American Inc., Altria Group, Inc., LOGIC Technology, Eonsmoke, GreenSmoke, VMR Products, and Lead By Sales LLC.