Smoking Everywhere agrees to advertising restrictions in California settlement

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Electronic cigarette manufacturer Smoking Everywhere has agreed to numerous advertising restrictions in a settlement with the state of California, state Attorney General Jerry Brown announced Friday. Under the settlement, Smoking Everywhere is not allowed to market their products to minors and cannot make claims that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes until they receive FDA approval as smoking cessation devices. The company is also prohibited from selling their products in public vending machines accessible to minors and cannot run advertisements featuring people who appear to be under the age of 28.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross believes that studies on the safety of e-cigarettes will prove that they are much less harmful than traditional cigarettes. “Of course, nicotine is addictive—that’s why cigarettes’ hold on smokers is so strong. To help smokers quit, nicotine must be delivered effectively to satisfy smokers’ cravings. As for the argument that e-cigarettes have carcinogens in them, I don’t think there’s anything dangerous about e-cigarettes. The only test purporting to find toxic diethylene glycol in the vapors was done last year by the FDA, but all other tests failed to find that substance in e-cigarette vapor. The artificial vapor of the e-cigarettes that I’m familiar with is composed of polyethylene glycol, which is perfectly safe. It seems so obvious to me that e-cigarettes are safer — they all lack the tobacco combustion products that are the actual dangerous constituents of traditional cigarettes. Unfortunately, governments all over the country seem to be racing each other to see which can most stringently restrict and regulate e-cigarettes as though they are worse than cigarettes. But common sense would say that they are probably not dangerous and will probably be a help to smokers wishing to quit. The companies cannot, however, market them as a safer alternative without violating FDA regulatory policies.”

ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom has a suggestion for Smoking Everywhere and other e-cigarette companies trying to overcome government-imposed restrictions: “Perhaps they should try marketing them as nutritional supplements since the FDA lacks regulatory oversight in that area, as long as they don’t claim to be treating or preventing disease. They could probably get away with saying their product ‘supports healthy breathing,’ since this is the type of hypocritical language that the supplement industry is allowed to hide behind.”