Senators Demand Restrictions on E-Cig Ads “for the Children”
Jacob Sullum, senior editor at Reason magazine and a frequent contributor to Forbes online edition — and possibly the guy most cited here at Vape Squad — has another article on the Op/Ed section, this time calling out five senators who are calling for what he calls “unconstitutional” restrictions on e-cigarette advertising.
“Despite claims from some e-cigarette makers that they do not market their products to children, e-cigarette manufacturers have adopted marketing practices similar to those long used by the tobacco industry to market regular cigarettes to youth—including flavoring their products in candy or fruit flavors that appeal to children.”
–Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
The five senators — Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), introduced legislation Wednesday “to protect children from e-cigarettes.” The legislation, titled “The Protecting Children from Electonic Cigarette Advertising Act,” authorizes the FCC to “determine what constitutes marketing e-cigarettes to children,” and to work with state attorneys general to ban any such marketing.
However, as Sullum points out, many senators and others fighting against electronic cigarettes have traditionally played very fast and loose with what amounts to advertising to children. Manufacturers producing sweet flavors, for example, or those using celebrity endorsements, have been accused of “targeting children.”
As Sullum explains in his article, however, it seems unlikely this new legislation would pass constitutional review, citing a case involving Lorillard in 2001 where courts determined that much more modest restrictions on outdoor advertising of cigarettes was “vastly overbroad,” as it interfered with the company’s ability to communicate with its adult customers.
We can’t help nodding our heads in agreement with Sullum when he says that those flavors which e-cig opponents so often claim are “clearly targeting young people” are doing no such thing. Many of the flavors vaped here at Vape Squad HQ are of the sweet variety, and there isn’t a kid anywhere in sight.
Five Senators Demand Unconstitutional Restrictions On E-Cigarette Ads—For The Children – Forbes.