AR Atty General: E-Cigs Need to be Regulated Immediately

LITTLE ROCK, AR-- There is no federal age restriction on buying electronic cigarettes.
UPDATE: 9/25

LITTLE ROCK, AR-- Forty attorneys general from around the U.S. are urging the FDA to impose more regulatory controls on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes

The e-cig industry is booming, and annual sales could hit $1.7 billion this year, but right now there is no federal oversight. Dustin McDaniel joined other attorneys general from across the nation to ask the Food and Drug Administration to take action. In a letter they ask the FDA to treat e-cigs as tobacco products and set rules for advertising, ingredients and sale to minors.

Local shops selling the products say more regulation is a good thing.

"The FDA has tossed around ideas that, we know regulation is coming and it's needed," says Rob Engster, the owner of Next Vapor Spot. "Right now a lot of fly by night companies are making juice, and without regulations you never know what kind of health concerns could pop up."

The letter says the nicotine in electronic cigarettes is highly addictive, and fruit flavors and flashy advertising appeal to young people.

"I don't think it's the fruit flavors are necessarily what makes kids want to try them," Engster says. "It's the fact that they see it as a means of getting nicotine. That's why we need to have no one under 18 allowed to purchase, and everybody that has a vapor store needs to card all customers that look like they could be under 18."

Abran Chavez, an employee at Vapor World NWA believes more regulation will increase sales.

"I was hoping that was going to happen just so people could see the truth behind it and have an official response to what this is," he says. "It's a great and healthy alternative to smoking. Think about all the things that are in cigarettes. It's just so much better for you in the long run."


LITTLE ROCK, AR-- Forty attorneys general from around the U.S. are urging the FDA to impose more regulatory controls on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes

Namely, restrict advertising and ban the sale of of the product to minors.  In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, they've ask for an immediate action to treat the electronic cigarettes the same as all "tobacco products" under the Federal Tobacco Control Act.

According to a press release, e-cigarette have been doubling every year since 2008 and, unlike with traditional tobacco products, there are no federal age restrictions to prevent children from obtaining e-cigarettes.

Earlier this year, the Arkansas Legislature enacted Act 1451, which prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors in the State but there is no such federal prohibition.

The letter calls into question the practice of advertising the electronic cigarette with primetime commercials and celebrity endorsements.

"E-cigarette manufacturers engage in tactics that appeal to youth," McDaniel said in a statement. "Celebrity endorsements, cartoon characters, attractive packaging, fruit flavoring and cheap prices all serve to encourage youth consumption of the products."

According to this article
on The Consumerist, annual sales of e-cigarettes expected to hit $1.7 billion in 2013.

Here's a full list of the Attorneys General who signed the letter.

Martha Coakley (MA)
Mike DeWine (OH)
Michael Geraghty (AK)
Tom Horne (AZ)
Dustin McDaniel (AR)
Kamala Harris (CA)
John Suthers (CO)
George Jepsen (CT)
Joe Biden III (DE)
David Louie (HI)
Lawrence Wasden (ID)
Lisa Madigan (IL)
Greg Zoeller (IN)
Tom Miller (IA)
Jack Conway (KY)
James Caldwell (LA)
Janet Mills (ME)
Douglas Gansler (MD)
Bill Schuette (MI)
Lori Swanson (MN)
Jim Hood (MS)
Chris Koster (MO)
Tim Fox (MT)
Catherine Cortez Mastro (NV)
Joseph Foster (NH)
Gary King (NM)
Eric Schneiderman (NY)
Roy Cooper (NC)
Ellen Rosenblum (OR)
Kathleen Kane (PA)
Peter Kilmartin (RI)
Marty Jackley (SD)
Robert Cooper (TN)
John Swallow (UT)
William Sorrell (VT)
Robert Ferguson (WA)
Peter Michael (WY)
Vincent Frazer (US Virgin Islands)
Luis Sanchez Betances (Puerto Rico)
Lenny Rapadas (Guam)

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