The attorneys general of Indiana and 39 other states and territories want the Food and Drug Administration to clamp limits on electronic cigarettes.
States complain the companies which make e-cigarettes are employing the same marketing techniques the makers of regular cigarettes were banned from using in the 1998 tobacco lawsuit settlement, from animated spokescharacters to kid-friendly flavors like chocolate and Gummi Bears.
The attorneys general want the F-D-A to impose restrictions on selling and advertising to minors similar to the limits on regular cigarettes. The F-D-A does not have explicit authority to step in, but the attorneys general argue the 2010 law giving the agency jurisdiction over “tobacco products” applies to the liquid-nicotine tubes the same as it would to a pack of Camels.
Terry Tolliver with Indiana‘s consumer protection division acknowledges there are still questions about the health risks or addictiveness of e-cigarettes, but says the F-D-A should err on the side of caution. Instead, he says there‘s currently no oversight at all.
The F-D-A has set a Halloween deadline to issue regulations, but the agency has put off action before.