CHICAGO (CBS) U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D Ill.) and others were calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to crack down on what they say are efforts to market electronic cigarettes to children.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D Calif.) said a new report shows e cigarette companies have boosted their marketing budgets, and seem to have their eyes on children.
E cigarette manufacturers don t have to play by the same rules. For example, e cigarette makers are free to sponsor youth oriented events, or use flavors that appeal to kids, he said.
Durbin and Waxman were leading the call for the FDA to impose restrictions on e cigarettes.
We re talking about advertising and sales really, treating e cigarettes the same as we treat tobacco products, so that they would not be advertising on mass media. They would not be selling to children. There would be warning labels, Durbin said.
E cigarette manufacturers have insisted their products help people stop smoking, but Durbin said e cigarettes are a candy flavored addiction that is drawing more and more young people to nicotine and smoking.
When young people start getting addicted to the drug nicotine, there are various ways to deliver that drug. E cigarettes is now the popular fad, he said.
Bbc news – government to move ahead with standardised cigarette packets
She denied the government was dragging its heels, saying the final legislation had to be “robust” and part of broader efforts to combat smoking and all “stakeholders” had to have their say.
But she said the government’s intention was “clear” and she promised changes before the next election in May 2015, although MPs would be given a vote on the proposals before they came into force.
A succession of Conservative backbenchers attacked the plan, saying it was an example of the “nanny state” and that there were enough warnings about the dangers of smoking already.
Robert Halfon, who successfully campaigned for a cut in bingo tax, said “Conservatives believe in freedom and the best way to stop people smoking is through education and not by banning things.”
He said there would be a “huge impact on small shops and small businesses” if standardised packaging went ahead.
Jacob Rees Mogg said Sir Cyril’s report had found it was too early to draw any any firm conclusions from the Australian legislation and said the findings were “indirect and speculative”.
“As the government may be taking away a freedom from the British people oughtn’t it to be more certain of its ground?” he asked.
Dame Angela Watkinson said “Nobody in this country smokes in ignorance and people who do so do it as a deliberate choice.”
Public health minister Jane Ellison said MPs would get a vote on the issue Conservative MP Sir Paul Beresford backed a ban
Labour MP Diana Johnson said Dame Angela had accepted a gift from Japan Tobacco, makers of Benson and Hedges cigarettes. The register of members’ interests shows the Hornchurch MP accepted hospitality and two tickets to last year’s Chelsea Flower show, worth 1,260.
Conservative MP Sir Paul Beresford, a dentist, backed the ban, telling those protesting against it “If I could arrange for them to come into an operating theatre to see the damage that oral cancer does to people they might actually change their mind.”
Most Labour MPs who spoke supported legislation but Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe warned about the impact on print workers in his constituency if branding was removed from cigarette packets.
The British Medical Association welcomed the minister’s statement but said there should be no further delays to legislation.
Dr Ram Moorthy, deputy chair of the BMA’s Board of Science, said “As doctors we see first hand every day the devastating effects of tobacco addiction and we call on the government to make a decision quickly and to introduce standardised packaging at the earliest possible opportunity in order to help put an end to a life long addiction that kills and destroys health.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said “The Welsh Government has long been a proponent of standardised packaging of tobacco products and we recognise that has the potential to be an important tool in our bid to reduce the harm from tobacco related illness.
“We are therefore delighted with today’s announcement that the UK government will go ahead with standardised packaging. This will also apply to Wales, following a short consultation on draft regulations.”