To Whom It May Concern
E-cigarettes should be treated just the same as regular cigarettes, say a group of 29 state attorneys general. In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, the group says e-cigs should face the restricted marketing and advertising stipulations that affect old-school smokes.
"E-cigarettes have all the addictive qualities of regular, combustible cigarettes, yet they are completely unregulated by the FDA," New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement reported on by NPR. "Each year, electronic cigarette companies spend millions of dollars advertising their product... glamorizing smoking in the same way combustible cigarettes did before these commercials were banned."
While the FDA has attempted e-cigarette regulations in the past, courts have struck down those attempts. Presented as a healthier alternative to traditional smoking, research has found that the long-term health effects of e-cigs are still unknown, and that people who use the alternatives to kick a smoking habit are actually less likely to quit. And, e-cigarettes are sold in thousands of flavors, from a variety of outlets.
"We urge the FDA to do the right thing and protect our youth from yet another tobacco epidemic," the letter adds.