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Capitol Health Call
November 13, 2013

Marketing Tactics of e-Cigarette Manufacturers Questioned

JAMA. 2013;310(18):1912. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281874

Twelve Democratic members of Congress sent letters on September 26 to 9 manufacturers of electronic cigarettes asking for information regarding their distribution, labeling, and efforts to market their products to children and teens. The letters were sent after the release of information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that use of e-cigarettes has more than doubled among middle and high school students since the 2011-2012 school year.

Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not subject to federal laws and regulations that prohibit sales to minors, distribution of free samples, and advertising on television and radio, the letter signers noted. “Despite claims from some e-cigarette makers that they do not market their products to youth and that kids should not have access to their products, e-cigarette manufacturers appear to be applying marketing tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to hook a new generation of children,” the legislators wrote.