May 05, 2016
BOXER STATEMENT ON POSITIVE WEEK FOR AMERICA'S HEALTH
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For Immediate Release
Boxer Statement on Positive Week for America's Health
May 5, 2016
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today responded to the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as regular cigarettes, as well as California's announcement to raise the smoking age to 21, prohibit e-cigarette use in many public places and ban the marketing of e-cigarettes to children.
"This is a big victory for America's health," Senator Boxer said. "We know the dangers of cigarette smoking, and e-cigarettes contain nicotine and many mystery chemicals that aren't even listed in the ingredients. The FDA's rule to regulate e- cigarettes and California's moves to raise the smoking age and ban e-cigarette use in public places are critical steps to help protect our children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Now it is time for the federal government to follow California's lead and ban the outrageous marketing of e-cigarettes to children."
The rule issued by FDA will subject e-cigarettes, hookahs and cigars to many of the same federal regulations that currently apply to traditional cigarettes, including banning sales to children under 18 and requiring new health warnings. But the rule does not stop e-cigarette companies from advertising their products to children.
Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that raises the legal smoking age to 21, prohibits the use of e- cigarettes in many public places, such as workplaces, schools, hospitals, restaurants and movie theaters, and banned the marketing of e-cigarettes to children.
Senator Boxer wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, thanking him for the final rule, while also urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to act and ban the marketing of e- cigarettes to children. She also sent Governor Brown a letter, praising him for taking action to protect Californians from the harmful effects of smoking and e-cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, three million middle and high school students regularly used e-cigarettes, up from 2.46 million in 2014. This makes e-cigarettes the most commonly used tobacco product among young people for the second consecutive year.
Senator Boxer is a leader in the fight to protect children from e- cigarettes, and in February 2015, she re-introduced the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act. The legislation would permit the FTC to determine what constitutes marketing to children, and would allow the FTC to work with states attorneys general to enforce the ban. In March of 2015, the Senator sent a letter to then FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg along with a petition urging the agency to finalize a rule to regulate e-cigarettes and protect public health. In March 2014, Senator Boxer led a letter along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urging President Obama to finalize regulations with all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and hookhas.