Boxer: Expedite study on e-cigarette advertising

Boxer: Expedite study on e-cigarette advertising
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Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday Sanders poised for big Super Tuesday MORE (D-Calif.) is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to expedite its study of electronic cigarette advertising to make sure companies don't "target children" for their products.

The agency said in January that it was waiting for approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget to study the marketing of e-cigarettes, including liquid nicotine. In that letter, the FTC indicated that, if granted approval, they would issue information requests to e-cigarette marketers.


"I urge you to expedite the study and ask that you specifically solicit information about marketing tactics that target youth, including online advertising, advertising on social media, behavioral targeting, mobile marketing, and viral videos," Boxer said in a letter to the FTC on Friday.

Boxer’s letter comes a little over a week after the Food and Drug Administration finalized a long-awaited rule giving it the authority to, for the first time, regulate e-cigarettes like traditional tobacco products under the Tobacco Control Act. Boxer is hoping the study will help future regulation.

“The actions taken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week finalizing the deeming regulations were a huge victory for America's public health, but it is not enough,” she said. “Now, we must work to ensure that e-cigarette companies stop using false and deceptive advertising to target children.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a Vital Signs report in January, which found that over 18 million teens had been exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in 2014. That study also found that spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.

During that same period, the CDC claims e-cigarette use among high school students rose from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 13.4 percent in 2014.