The federal government is yet to wake up from its slumber! Its inaction to contain the sale and advertising of e-cigarettes directed towards minors has led to an increase in their use by these children. This has called the attention of attorney generals from various states to initiate their own campaigns against the menace these e-cigarettes have become.
Government data released in April revealed that teen use of e-cigarettes tripled in 2014, making e-cigarettes a more preferred option than tobacco for these youngsters. Owing to the mounting use of these cigarettes, the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2014, proposed a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18. However, the agency did not recommend prohibiting advertising, flavored products or online sales, which help tap the innocent youngsters.
Earlier than this ban on e-cigarettes, the 1998 Master Settlement prohibited manufacturers of conventional cigarettes from targeting youth and from even advertising on television, billboards and mass transit. But, the 2014 ruling does not apply these regulations to e-cigarettes.
As of now, 46 states have passed laws banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Twelve of these states have also passed laws requiring child-proof packaging for e-liquids and e-cigarettes. Presently, AGs from New York, California, Indiana and Ohio, are using new state and local laws to put pressure on the industry at all levels, even targeting biggies like Altria Group and Reynolds American Inc.
This action from the AGs has prompted the FDA to finalize its new e-cigarette regulations later this summer, though it could take several years for the federal rules to go into effect.