Congresswoman Speier Announces Legislation to Prevent e-Cigarette Marketing to Minors

June 20, 2014 16:00 pm · 10 comments

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, announced new proposed legislation regulating electronic cigarettes at a news conference at San Francisco General Hospital this morning.

If Congress passes it, the Stop Selling and Marketing to our Kids E-Cigarettes Act, known as the SMOKE Act, will extend U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations against marketing cigarettes to children to e-cigarettes.

“With flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy and chocolate cake, our kids are literally vaping these things up,” Speier said in a news release. “With ads using sex and sex appeal, our teens are lusting after these objects. It’s time to regulate these products and protect our children.”

Speier’s legislation is part of a growing movement to regulate e-cigarettes similarly to regular cigarettes.

In San Francisco, people can only smoke e-cigarettes in locations where regular cigarette smoking is allowed, under new city legislation passed in March.

“The new law is a common sense policy for San Francisco that regulates the smoking of e-cigarettes in the same way that cigarettes are already regulated,” San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the bill, said in a news release today.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors also took steps in March to ban e-cigarette use and sales in places where cigarettes are already banned.

Health officials say further regulation is necessary to prevent e-cigarettes from being dangerously marketed to children and teens.

“These facts are indisputable: nicotine is addictive, e-cigarettes are unregulated nicotine delivery devices and the e-cigarette industry is targeting our youth,” Dr. Tomas Aragon, director of the Population Health Division at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said in the release.

The California Poison Control System has observed an increase in poisonings and burnings caused by e-cigarettes, including 207 cases of e-cigarette-related poisoning in the past 17 months, according to Dr. Neal Benowitz with the San Francisco division of the state Poison Control System.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, an e-cigarette industry group based in Georgia, supports efforts to prevent marketing to minors.

“We’ve been against that since day one,” said CFO Tom Kiklas, who said his group has been active on the issue.

Speier will introduce the SMOKE Act in Congress on Monday.

funny man June 20, 2014 at 4:24 PM

all I could hear while reading this

now when will one of them critters introduce bills to balance the budget and stop political corruption? oh right never, because lobbyist money

I concur June 20, 2014 at 5:17 PM

I was a pack a day smoker for almost 32 years. I tried to quit more times than I can remember. The emotional addiction to tobacco cigarettes is unreal. EVERY time I tried to quit, that is all I could think about…smoking. Seriously. I watched my father die last year (April 2013) after his heart gave out, the end result of numerous health complications brought on by smoking cigarettes. I started experiencing asthma symptoms myself.
I began buying e-cigarettes because fellow smokers at work were buying them. They can be smoked in a lot of places that regular smoking is not allowed. But soon I noticed that I didn’t have the desire to smoke nearly as much. One or two hits off the e cigarette sufficed instead of needing one or two whole cigarettes. I wasn’t spending so much time away from my desk at work. The smell was gone. And yes, my lungs felt better. I could walk a block or two without getting winded.
I decided to try quitting tobacco cigarettes again. This time I succeeded. I have not smoked a tobacco cigarette since July 2013. I do still carry an e cigarrete in my purse, but have not taken a hit off it in almost 3 months. It is more like a crutch. My mind is eased just knowing its there if I need it. But the desire is completely gone.
So what is my point? I am living proof that e-cigarettes can help even long time heavy smokers quit the habit, almost effortlessly. Please don’t get me wrong, I am a hard worker and believe hard work is good for the soul (and mind and body). But I am also keenly aware that my will power was no match for nicotine and tobacco cigarettes. The turmoil caused by prior attempts to quit always caused such disruption in my life and my family’s lives, that I would eventually give in to find relief.

Having said all of that I DO NOT AGREE THAT E CIGARETTES SHOULD BE MARKETED TO THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS IN FRUITY FLAVORS AND SUCH. Do we allow whiskey to be sold in juice boxes with cartoon characters printed on them ? No. And we should not allow e cigarette makers to make them attractive to children and young people. Smoking is a horrible habit any way you look at it. I know I am blessed to have finally freed myself from its clutches. As a young person I absolutely lacked the ability to see the detrimental consequences I could have suffered from starting smoking. Now that I know, I think its prudent for society to make it difficult and unattractive to today’s youth.

Dorothy June 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM

One would hope it might work better than the ones to prevent selling regular tobacco and alcohol products to minors. Yeah, sure…

RunDogRun June 20, 2014 at 5:50 PM

There were a lot fewer mass
murders when people smoked freely.
Platters – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes:

Always Right June 20, 2014 at 6:16 PM

I concur with I concur.

The solution to e-cigarettes is the same as the solution to marijuana : eliminate over-the-counter sales and require a prescription from a board-certificated doctor dispensed by a licensed pharmacy.

Seriously? June 20, 2014 at 6:58 PM

“With ads using sex and sex appeal, our teens are lusting after these objects.”

Yeah, so? Sex and sex appeal have been used in marketing campaigns since the dawn of time. To say that using sex is marketing to kids is ridiculous. What are they suppose to use to market to adults? Walkers and adjustable beds?

Also, they tried just a little too hard on the name of this act. In their efforts to come up with something for the acronym “SMOKE”, they ended up with something really stupid and impossible to remember.

Abbie R. June 20, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Thank You Congresswoman Spier for Legalizing Pepper Spray in Kalifornia a number of years ago.

Teacher Wannabe June 21, 2014 at 6:56 AM

@RunDogRun. Seriously?! No connection. If so, where is your data supporting it?

FunDogRun June 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM

God forbid our legislative
representatives spend any
time on the real problems
facing the country — jobs,
crime, etc. etc, “the children,
the children, the children.”
Who freakin’ cares!

RunDogRun June 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM

@8 Teacher Wannabe June 21, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Statistics can be manipulated
to prove anything. Using one’s
own powers of observation is
a much more reliable a predictor
of reality.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: