Durbin stepping up push for FDA e-cigarette regulation

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. and Rep. Henry Waxman D-Calif. on Monday stepped up their push for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarettes to youths, a continuation of Durbin’s long-running battle to reduce the use of tobacco products.

On Monday the two are hosting a conference call to “discuss their investigation into the distribution, sale, and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and how that information underscores the need for federal regulation.”

The investigation report is titled “Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing to Youth,” and, according to Durbin and Waxman, it is “the first comprehensive investigation of e-cigarette marketing tactics and was compiled using responses from eight e-cigarette manufacturers received by the lawmakers from their investigation into the industry and other publicly available information.”

The report showed, according to the two lawmakers, “a dramatic recent increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes – or e-cigarettes – with extensive resources being dedicated to social media, sponsorship of youth-oriented events, and television and radio advertisements that reach substantial youth audiences.”

Background, from Durbin’s office: 

“Durbin and Waxman were joined in the investigation by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee; U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR); and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).”

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