E-Cigarettes Target Youth With Festivals, Lawmakers Say
April 15, 2014~ E-cigarette makers aim to hook youth on their products using music festivals, free samples and candy-flavored versions, U.S. Democratic lawmakers said. The findings, in a survey released today by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products. Six of nine companies surveyed had sponsored or provided free samples at 348 events in the last two years, including the Bonnaroo and Coachella music festivals and Grand Prix races. Six companies including Green Smoke, acquired April 1 by Altria Group Inc. (MO:US) and Lorillard Inc. (LO:US), also offer flavors such as cherry crush and vanilla dreams. “These are the same tactics that were used by major cigarette manufacturers before they were banned,” said U.S. Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, on a conference call. “Our findings demonstrate the FDA regulation of e-cigarettes is necessary to prevent manufacturers from targeting youth with aggressive marketing practices.”
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