SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco congresswoman unveiled legislation Friday that would regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way as typical tobacco products, accusing the e-cigarette industry of targeting children and teenagers with its marketing.
"With flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, and chocolate cake, our kids are literally vaping these things up," said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, who announced the proposal outside the San Francisco General Hospital emergency room. "With ads using sex and sex appeal, our teens are lusting after these objects."
The legislation would restrict television advertisements of electronic cigarettes as was done for tobacco, said a statement from Speier's spokeswoman, Katrina Rill. Speier plans to introduce the bill Monday to regulate the devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution to create inhalable vapor.
The proposal would also prohibit marketing to minors, bar advertising that increases use by children and ban most flavorings in the products. It would require the Food and Drug Administration to establish childproof packaging standards and dosage limits.
The move comes as the FDA also looks to impose e-cigarette regulations. The federal agency said Friday it was extending the public comment period to August on a proposal to ban sales to minors, add warning labels and require new products to get FDA approval. Its measure doesn't restrict marketing or ban flavors but leaves room for further regulations.
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