Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Sen. Tom Harkin, and Rep. Peter Welch sent a letter to California Attorney Gen. Kamala D. Harris, Iowa Attorney Gen. Tom Miller, and Vermont Attorney Gen. William H. Sorrell urging them to classify electronic cigarettes as cigarettes under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) to prevent e-cigarette companies from targeting youth and getting them addicted to their products.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that use of e-cigarettes by children is increasing rapidly and could serve as a gateway to nicotine addiction. Unlike conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not subject to restrictions on advertising and marketing. Classifying e-cigarettes as cigarettes under the MSA would prohibit tobacco companies from targeting youth in advertising and marketing of these products.
In the letter the members stated, “We have admiration for your efforts to protect children from the dangers of tobacco. That is why we hope you will consider taking this much-needed step in the ongoing battle against tobacco products. The MSA gives you a powerful tool to stop e-cigarette makers from targeting youth, and we urge you to consider using it.”