Rep. Jackie Speier is a San Francisco congresswoman who recently unveiled a proposed legislation that aims to restrict ecigarette marketing the same way as tobacco product marketing is restricted. The bill also accuses the industry of aiming to entice the children and teenagers.
Speier’s proposal was announced while outside San Francisco General Hospital ER. She said that kids are literally vaping flavors such as chocolate cake, cotton candy and gummy bear. She also added that ads feature sex and sex appeal so teenagers are likewise lusting after the devices.
Proposed Legislation Details
This legislation will restrict ecigarette marketing of ecigs on TV as with tobacco, the congresswoman’s spokeswoman Katrina Rill said.
The proposed law will prohibit marketing to underage consumers and bar advertising that increases children’s use of ecigs. Most ecig flavorings will also be outlawed should this bill be passed. This bill will require the FDA to establish dosage limits and childproof packaging.
This move came after the FDA announced that it is looking at imposing ecigarette regulations. Recently, the federal agency said that it will extend public comment period on its announced ecig regulations whose provisions include ban of sales to minors, new products approval and warning labels. The measure, however, does not include restriction on marketing or outlaw flavors. Yet, this is only the first set of regulations and more are expected to come.
San Francisco Division of the California Poison Control System associate medical director Dr. Neal Benowitz said that ecigarette burnings and poisonings have increased. He said that they have seen significant jump from 2-3 ecig cases relate to ecigarettes each month in 2012 to 12 incidents in 2014.
San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Dr. Tomas Aragon stated that ecig regulations like regular tobacco products is only sensible in preventing recruitment of youth into lifelong addiction to nicotine.
Unexpected Spin, Remaining Questions
The Democrat congresswoman proposed a bill that will prohibit ecig marketing targeting minors. It actually has a surprising spin, one that differs from the usual treatment of ecigs as tobacco. While this seems more sensible, there are still some important issues and questions involved.
How Are Ecigarettes Threats To Children? This is one question that requires some deeper assessment. The answer to this question will help determine how controls will be established.
A possible argument is that nicotine in ecigarettes is addictive. Yet, not all electronic cigarettes contain tobacco. Nicotine is known to be an addictive chemical that is mostly sourced from tobacco plant. Yet, tobacco is not the only plant that contains tobacco.
Other plants, including those that are usually served for dinner like potato, tomato, broccoli, eggplant and cauliflower likewise contain the same addictive nicotine.
If ecigs are threats to children because of nicotine, then these other plant foods containing nicotine are most likely threats to the youth. One eggplant, for example, has roughly 5% nicotine on one cigarette. Thus, there has to be threshold or limit on how much nicotine level is addictive.
If it is argued by opponents that ecigs are gateway to smoking tobacco because of the nicotine most devices/products deliver, then it should also be emphasized that eating French fries might also lead the same youth to nicotine addiction and eventually tobacco smoking.
Nicotine poisoning is possible, so do caffeine. Only two 5-hour Energy drinks containing roughly 400 mg caffeine has more than enough caffeine that could poison a kid. Thus, many health advocates are also pushing for a ban on energy drinks due to the harms it can cause to children. Yet, caffeine is not a controlled substance like nicotine. Caffeine is challenging to control just like non-tobacco nicotine.
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