Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Senator Dick Durbin, (D-IL) have published the data from a congressional staff investigation so the lawmakers can attack e-cigarettes. There are calls from California lawmakers for the Food and Drug Administration to start getting involved in the use of cigarettes by young people.
The investigative report, titled, “Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing to Youth, ” was described by its authors as “the first comprehensive investigation of e-cigarette marketing tactics … using responses from eight e-cigarette manufacturers … and other publicly available information.”
The FDA has not regulated the e-cigarette industry’s appeal to youth yet; there are no age restrictions or uniform warning labels on the devices. The study stated that between 2010 and 2011, twice as many adults tried e-cigarettes. Last autumn, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echoed that the practice had spread to high school students; between 2011 to 2012, 10% of students were using e-cigarettes, twice the number at the beginning of that period.
Over 20% of middle school students using e-cigarettes said traditional cigarettes were foreign to them. Since 2010, e-cigarette sales have doubled every year. The lawmakers are trying to take control of a skyrocketing industry; sales of e-cigarettes are expected to reach $2 billion in 2013, and producers of e-cigarettes doubled the money they invested in marketing from 2012 to 2013, reaching a total of $60 million.
Rep. Jackie Speier, (D-CA), is joining the fight against e-cigarettes, asking Rep. Darrell Issa, R-(CA) to hold hearings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Waxman and Durbin’s perspective was also held by Sen. Barbara Boxer and other Democratic chairs of Senate committees.