According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a link between exposure to e-cigarette advertisements and the use of e-cigarettes by middle and high school students. The study assessed current (past 30-day) use of e-cigarettes and exposure to e-cigarette advertising in four different types of media: retail stores, the internet, TV/movies, and magazines/newspapers. The study surveyed more than 22,000 middle and high school students.
CDC researchers found that the greater the exposure to e-cigarette advertisements among middle and high school students, the more likely they are to use e-cigarettes. The researchers noted that spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014. During the same time, current e-cigarette usage among youth soared; from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 13.4 in 2014 among high school students, and from 0.6 percent in 2011 to 3.9 percent in 2014 among middle school students. In 2014, e-cigarettes became the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, exceeding traditional combustible cigarettes. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said:
E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco products among youth, and use continues to climb. We want parents to know that nicotine is a dangerous and addictive drug for kids at any age, whether it’s an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar, and may cause lasting harm to adolescent brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.
In response to the growing of issues and concerns relating to e-cigarettes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently implemented rules that will directly regulate the advertising and sale of e-cigarettes. Under the new rules, companies will have to provide the agency with a list of product ingredients and place health warnings on their product packaging and in their advertisements. The new rule also bans sales of e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 18. Unfortunately, the announcement of these new regulations prompted a rush of new e-cigarette products to the market ahead of the new regulations. E-cigarette devices introduced before the regulations took effect can be sold for up to three years while companies apply and wait for regulatory review.
The CDC study concluded that multiple approaches are warranted to reduce youth e-cigarette use and exposure to e-cigarette advertisements, some of which are covered by the FDA’s new rules. For example, the CDC study concluded that efforts to reduce youth access to the settings where e-cigarettes are sold and regulation of youth-oriented e-cigarette marketing would likely be effective. The implementation of these approaches, in coordination with state tobacco control programs, has the potential to reduce e-cigarette use among youths.
If you would like more information about e-cigarettes, you can contact Will Sutton, a lawyer in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section. Will can be reached at 800-898-2034 or by email at William.Sutton@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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