Tom Miller, Iowa's Attorney General, has signed on to a letter sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging them to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and to restrict their ingredients and advertising.
The bipartisan group of 35 attorneys general is pushing to regulate the e-cigarettes as tobacco products under the Tobacco Control Act.
According to a release from Miller's office, the sale of the battery-operated products that heat liquid nicotine -- derived from tobacco plants -- into a vapor that the user inhales, is growing rapidly among both youth and adults.
“I’m concerned about this product, which is really nothing more than a nicotine delivery device,” Miller said in a written statement. “I don’t think any reasonable person thinks it’s okay for these companies to sell e-cigarettes to children, which is one of many good reasons why the FDA needs to act.”
Miller says there are currently no federal age restrictions to prevent children from buying e-cigarettes and says there is a need to protect kids from becoming addicted to nicotine through these products.
“National sales are growing exponentially, and so are the marketing tactics by the sellers," Miller added in his written statement. "Manufacturers are adding fruit and candy flavors, some are using cartoons to advertise, and now we’re seeing ads on television. A lot of the marketing efforts pretty clearly try to appeal to children.”
A survey done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows the percentages of youth who tried or currently use e-cigarettes roughly doubled from 2011 to 2012. The survey estimates nearly 1.8 million middle and high school students tried e-cigarettes in 2012.
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