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Zoeller joins multi-state call for e-cigarette regulation

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The Food and Drug Administration should restrict the sale and marketing of increasingly popular e-cigarettes, particularly to minors, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller advocates in joining a letter signed by AGs from 36 other states and three U.S. territories.

The officials signed a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging the agency “to take all available measures to meet the FDA’s stated deadline of October 31, 2013, to issue proposed regulations that will address the advertising, ingredients, and sale to minors of electronic cigarettes.”

The battery-operated devices allow the user to inhale a vapor produced by heating liquid nicotine extracted from tobacco leaves. “The nicotine found in e-cigarettes is highly addictive, has immediate bio-chemical effects on the brain and body at any dosage, and is toxic in high doses,” the letter says.

It also says the FDA should move to ban marketing of e-cigarettes to children, noting “E-cigarettes contain fruit and candy flavors – such as cherry, chocolate, gummy bear, and bubble gum – that are appealing to youth. The FDA has banned such flavors from cigarettes and should take the same action regarding e-cigarettes.”

The letter notes several manufacturers use cartoon monkeys and images such as those from the popular video game “Angry Birds” on reusable vapor jackets “intended to make the e-cigarette desirable or fashionable … to children.” The AGs cites National Youth Surveys that show the number of high school students who tried an e-cigarette rose from 1 in 20 in 2011 to 1 in 10 in 2012.

The letter says sales of e-cigarettes have doubled annually since 2008 and are projected to reach $1.7 billion this year. That would be only a fraction of the roughly $80 billion in annual tobacco cigarette sales, but the increasing use of e-cigarettes is accompanied by a decline in their cost, the letter notes.

“Unlike traditional tobacco products, there are no federal age restrictions that would prevent children from obtaining e-cigarettes, nor are there any advertising restrictions,” the letter says in urging the FDA to use its authority to extend the application of the Tobacco Control Act to e-cigarettes.

“Some smokers see e-cigarettes as a way to wean themselves off of other tobacco products, but the health effects of these popular alternatives have not been adequately studied and the ingredients are not regulated,” Zoeller said in a statement. “Nicotine is highly addictive and, if e-cigarettes are left unregulated, our state’s youth may use them as a gateway to smoking.”

 

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  • Adults like those things too
    I am a 45 year old man. I play angry birds. I like flavors. So do other adults - go to a Starbucks sometime and listen to the orders. Flavored cigars take up square yards of displays, because adults like flavors too. And, it is silly to argue that an e-cig, which is designed as an alternative to cigarette smoking, is a "gateway."

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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