Washington—Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, introduced a bill Thursday that would ban advertising of e-cigarettes to children.
“Advertisements for e-cigarettes that highlight flavors like bubblegum or gummy bears and promote cartoon characters are shameless efforts to addict our kids,” Esty said.
Citing a study by the Centers for Disease Control, Esty said 1.8 million middle and high school students have tried e-cigarettes, which provide a smoker with nicotine, but not the tars and other chemicals that are linked to cancer and other diseases.
Esty said the CDC reports that more than 75 percent of underage e-cigarette smokers have also smoked traditional cigarettes. She also said the percentage of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2013 and is increasing dramatically.
The campaign to regulate e-cigarettes is gaining traction among Democrats in Congress. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced a similar bill last month that was co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.