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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Attorneys General Band Together Against E-Cigarettes

Efforts to enact legislation for the regulation of e-cigarettes have moved slowly, while the devices popularity has grown at a fast rate. There have been a number of concerns raised about the appeal of e-cigarettes to minors, as more teenagers are using the devices than traditional cigarettes. While federal regulation remains at a relative standstill, a group of State Attorneys General (AG) has begun using state and local laws to force the e-cigarette industry to halt marketing methods aimed at minors, Reuters reports.

The campaign has targeted vape shops and big tobacco companies, threatening to sue violators or appealing to a sense of responsibility that companies should have with record to marketing to minors. While research on e-cigarettes is still being conducted, AGs from more than 12 states feel a need to take action, preventing minors from unknowingly becoming addicted to nicotine.

“The key is to avoid another generation being addicted to nicotine,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in an interview with Reuters.

A large portion of e-cigarette sales occur online where it is much more difficult to enforce age verification. Minors are not only exposed to e-cigarettes advertisements on the Internet, they can easily purchase them as well. Through coordinated efforts, some AG groups have called on e-cigarette companies to limit ads that appeal to teens, according to the article.

Despite the fact that research indicates nicotine having a detrimental effect on developing brains, it is still possible for minors to purchase e-cigarettes in a number of states. It is expected that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will finalize its e-cigarette regulations later this summer, but it could take years for the federal rules to be enforced.

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