Idaho AG Says E-Cigarettes Need Regulation

By Samantha Wright

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and 39 of his colleagues want tougher regulations for electronic cigarettes. The group hopes the federal government will act by Halloween. Samantha Wright reports from Boise State Public Radio.

The group sent a letter in September to the Food and Drug Administration. In it, the Attorneys General say e-cigarettes use nicotine, which is an addictive substance: “It’s a tobacco-related product. It is derived from tobacco.”

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says he believes the FDA has the authority to regulate e-cigarettes the same ways it regulates tobacco products. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that vaporize liquid nicotine into an aerosol mist that can be inhaled.

The letter points out there are no federal age restrictions that would prevent children from obtaining e-cigarettes, nor are there any advertising restrictions. Wasden says he’s seeing advertising that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. in 30 years, when it comes to a tobacco product. And he believes that advertising is directed toward kids.

Wasden: “You couple the cartoon advertising, monkeys and angry birds, and couple that with the flavorings of cherry and chocolate and gummy bear, bubble gum, who else would they be appealing to, but youth?”

The FDA has a self-imposed deadline of October 31st to come up with regulations for e-cigarettes. Wasden and his colleagues are urging the FDA to meet that deadline and put the products on a shorter leash.

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio

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