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house Bill H.R. 4249

Should E-Cigarette and Vape Ads be Banned from TV & Radio?

Argument in favor

Television and radio ads for e-cigarettes and vapes are driving these products’ use by youth. Given the recent, highly publicized cases of lung damage and even death from these products, it’s clear that companies shouldn’t be allowed to advertise these products to youth who don’t understand the full consequences of their use. Closing the loophole allowing e-cigarette and vape companies to advertise on TV and radio won’t solve the problem of youth vaping on its own, but it’s an important step towards reducing these products’ direct marketing to teens.

Richard's Opinion
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10/08/2019
Well let’s see what the results are so far. It took decades for tobacco to kill people with a warning label. It’s taken months to kill numerous people with this “safe alternative”. Hell yes, it needs a warning label AND regulation!
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burrkitty's Opinion
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10/08/2019
And drug ads, prescription or OTC. We can’t stop people from their willful stupidity, but we can reduce the exposure to others.
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jimK's Opinion
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10/08/2019
Advertising should be banned until more is known as to what specifically is causing the rash of long injuries. It appears that most of the issues arise from custom mixed vaping solutions infused with cannabis oils. I would think that manufacturer’s should be banned from selling any products that can be custom mixed by users or vape shops. Also, the vape solutions that manufacturer’s provide should be regulated to insure lung-safe vaping mixtures. And warning about overuse need to be part of the packaging and any advertising.
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Argument opposed

This bill won’t have much impact, as few e-cigarette or vape companies advertise nationally via television or radio as is. Moreover, given that this advertising ban doesn’t extend to internet ads, social media sponsored posts, or the myriad other ways teens receive product endorsement information, this bill doesn’t close off many major channels for e-cigarette and vape companies to advertise their products to youth, many of which are more effective than TV and radio ads.

Nathan's Opinion
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10/08/2019
Only if they ban pharmaceutical ads as well. Prescription drugs kill far more people than vaping has or ever will. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Pharm is behind this bill. The more illness created by smoking the more money they stand to make. I’d check and see if the politician who created this bill came into some money recently. #BigPharmOwnsDC
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Jen's Opinion
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09/21/2019
Vaping helps people to quit cigarettes. Banning this would only push people back into the habit they got away from or cause them to turn to the black market to purchase their products. You are putting the public at risk by taking this right away! I vape, I vote. Remember that!
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Paul's Opinion
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10/08/2019
So let me get this straight. The government is working towards legalizing marijuana but we’re going to now ban e cigarette ads??, so what happens if pot gets legalized?, there will be cannabis ads but not e cigarette ads?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedSeptember 9th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 4249?

This legislation — the Stop Vaping Ads Act of 2019 — would add e-cigarettes and vaping devices to an existing ban on television and radio advertising for traditional cigarettes. This ban would apply to any electronic device that delivers nicotine, flavor, or another substance via an aerosolized solution to the user inhaling from the device. This would include e-cigarettes, e-hookah, e-cigars, vape pens, advanced refillable personal vaporizers, and electronic pipes and their components, liquids, and accessories.

Products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale as tobacco cessation products or other therapeutic purposes would be exempt from this ban. However, they would have to be marketed and sold solely for tobacco cessation or other therapeutic purposes.

Impact

Youth; youth e-cigarette and vape users; potential youth e-cigarette and vape users; e-cigarette and vaping device advertisements on television and radio; and e-cigarette and vape companies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4249

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced this bill to ban advertisements for e-cigarettes and vaping devices on television and radio

“Until the 1970s, the powerful cigarette industry used broadcast marketing as a means to sell their deadly products to Americans, and it cynically targeted young people in order to attract new customers, who would be beholden to their products for life. Today, the e-cigarette industry is doing the same thing. Congress banned cigarette ads on TV and radio beginning in 1971. However, due to a loophole, e-cigarette and vaping ads have been rapidly popping up on America’s screens, leading to a rise in vaping, especially among America’s youth. It is becoming abundantly clear that e-cigarettes and vaping are causing new, harmful health impacts among the people who use them. My bill would close this advertising loophole to ensure e-cigarette companies can no longer market these harmful products to children and young people.”

In her introductory remarks on September 18, 2019, Rep. Brownley cited vaping-related illnesses to underscore this bill’s urgency: 

“[R]ecently, it was reported that a seventh person has died from a vaping-related illness in the United States. In response, the CDC recently announced that it has activated its emergency operations center to investigate what is quickly becoming a public health crisis. It is becoming abundantly clear that e-cigarettes are causing harmful health impacts among both teens, approximately 2.4 million students, and adults who use them. While more research is needed, I believe this public health emergency requires swift action by Congress to prevent the marketing of these products to young people. That is why I have introduced the Stop Vaping Ads Act, which will close the loophole in current law and would ban e-cigarette advertisements on broadcast media. I invite my colleagues to join me in support of this commonsense bill that will help curb the onslaught of harmful and dangerous e-cigarette ads.”

In an email to the Thousand Oaks Acorn, Rep. Brownley also argues that e-cigarettes could lead to lifelong tobacco use by youth

“The CDC reports that about 2.4 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes as of 2014. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes addiction, may harm brain development and could lead to continued tobacco product use among youth. CDC has concluded that exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth.”

Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a nonprofit advocacy group that champions the use of vaping products and electronic cigarettes as a means to help traditional cigarette smokers quit, believes this bill wouldn’t have much of an effect. He explains: 

“Television advertising, by and large, is a low-hanging fruit. The only advertising Congress can control is . . . basic television. The very few existing companies advertising on TV will just move their ads to cable.”

Conley also notes that only a handful of e-cigarette and vape companies advertise nationally as is. He also theorizes that this bill could be subject to a legal challenge by some of the larger e-cigarette and vape companies: 

“When judges said the commercial ban on cigarettes was constitutional, they had evidence that cigarettes were killing hundreds of thousands of people. The evidence today grows stronger linking (illness) to contaminated (illicit) cartridges.”

This legislation has 14 Democratic cosponsors.


Of NoteThe CDC reports that tobacco product advertising can entice youth to use tobacco, and that spending to advertise e-cigarettes has risen rapidly since 2011. The CDC reports that about 69% of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in retail stores, on the internet, in magazines and newspapers, on television, and in movies. This exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may, according to the CDC, be contributing to increasing e-cigarette use among youth.

As of October 1, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette or vaping products. These cases covered 48 states and one U.S. territory. They included 18 deaths across 15 states.

All patients report a history of using e-cigarette or vaping products, and most report a history of using THC-containing products. Approximately 70% of patients are male. Many patients are young, as about 80% are under 35 years old, 16% are under 18 years old, and 21% are 18-20 years old. Patients range in age from 13 to 75 years old, and their median age is 23 years old.

While its investigation is ongoing, the CDC recommends that individuals refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly those containing THC. It also suggests that, regardless of the ongoing investigation, youth and young adults shouldn’t use e-cigarette or vaping products.

In a September 9, 2019 letter, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to JUUL Labs — manufacturer of a popular line of vaping products. The FDA expressed concerns over JUUL’s outreach and marketing practices, particularly those targeted at students, tribes, health insurers, and employers. Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. wrote:

“Regardless of where products like e-cigarettes fall on the continuum of tobacco product risk, the law is clear that, before marketing tobacco products for reduced risk, companies must demonstrate with scientific evidence that their specific product does in fact pose less risk or is less harmful. JUUL has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation’s youth. In addition, we’re troubled about several issues related to JUUL’s outreach and marketing practices that came to light in a recent Congressional hearing. We will continue to scrutinize tobacco product marketing and take action as appropriate to ensure that the public is not misled into believing a certain product has been proven less risky or less harmful. We remain committed to using all available tools to ensure that e-cigarettes and other tobacco products aren’t being marketed or sold to kids. We’ve also put the industry on notice: If the disturbing rise in youth e-cigarette use continues, especially through the use of flavors that appeal to kids, we’ll take even more aggressive action.”

In its letter, the FDA discussed its determination that JUUL had marketed its products as modified risk tobacco products without an appropriate FDA order in effect. This, according to the FDA, would reasonably be expected to result in consumers believe that JUUL’s products present a lower risk of tobacco-related disease, are less harmful than other commercially marketed tobacco products, contain a reduced level of harmful substances, and/or don’t contain harmful substances. 

The FDA’s letter also cited several misleading statements a JUUL representative made to students in a presentation at a school. These were discussed in testimony at a July 2019 Congressional hearing on JUUL. Among these statements were claims that: 

  • JUUL “was much safer than cigarettes” and that “FDA would approve it any day.”
  • JUUL was “totally safe.”
  • A recommendation that a student “... should mention JUUL to his [nicotine-addicted] friend…because that’s a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be better for the kid to use.”
  • “FDA was about to come out and say it [JUUL] was 99% safer than cigarettes…and that…would happen very soon….”

Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / licsiren)

AKA

Stop Vaping Ads Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act to extend the prohibition on electronic advertisements of cigarettes and little cigars to electronic nicotine delivery systems.

    Well let’s see what the results are so far. It took decades for tobacco to kill people with a warning label. It’s taken months to kill numerous people with this “safe alternative”. Hell yes, it needs a warning label AND regulation!
    Like (52)
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    Only if they ban pharmaceutical ads as well. Prescription drugs kill far more people than vaping has or ever will. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Pharm is behind this bill. The more illness created by smoking the more money they stand to make. I’d check and see if the politician who created this bill came into some money recently. #BigPharmOwnsDC
    Like (62)
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    And drug ads, prescription or OTC. We can’t stop people from their willful stupidity, but we can reduce the exposure to others.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    Advertising should be banned until more is known as to what specifically is causing the rash of long injuries. It appears that most of the issues arise from custom mixed vaping solutions infused with cannabis oils. I would think that manufacturer’s should be banned from selling any products that can be custom mixed by users or vape shops. Also, the vape solutions that manufacturer’s provide should be regulated to insure lung-safe vaping mixtures. And warning about overuse need to be part of the packaging and any advertising.
    Like (38)
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    Be consistent. If your going to ban smoking ads that’s fine, so long as all drug ads are banned including alcohol.
    Like (26)
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    Vaping helps people to quit cigarettes. Banning this would only push people back into the habit they got away from or cause them to turn to the black market to purchase their products. You are putting the public at risk by taking this right away! I vape, I vote. Remember that!
    Like (20)
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    These ads try to make the products seem cool, which only adds to their appeal to youth. While we still don't know the full health impacts of these products, and people are getting very sick and dying from their use, I feel it's inappropriate to allow them to advertise and risk getting more young people addicted to them.
    Like (17)
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    E-cigarettes are no better than traditional cigarettes! Advertising something that is a clear danger to our health with no potential health benefits should not be allowed just like it isn’t allowed with regular cigarettes!
    Like (16)
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    This is STUPID! Why would we say it’s ok to advertise something the CDC advised you not to use because it is killing our children?
    Like (14)
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    So let me get this straight. The government is working towards legalizing marijuana but we’re going to now ban e cigarette ads??, so what happens if pot gets legalized?, there will be cannabis ads but not e cigarette ads?
    Like (14)
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    Be real! Faux cigarettes-Vaping is no different than—nicotine cigarettes.
    Like (11)
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    I hear the media talk about people getting sick from vaping. Why don’t I hear anything about how many people have quit smoking because of vaping? Vaping is helping more people quit smoking than any other product ever. I smell a rat.
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    Stop pretending you're not in pocket of big tabacco
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    Yes, but vaping largely affects teens and young adults, who aren’t watching traditional TV or listening to the radio. The ban ought to go further, to ads seen on mobile devices, like ads on YouTube, social media, games, etc.
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    Just like the rest of nicotine delivery systems.
    Like (5)
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    No reason not to they are worse than cigarettes
    Like (4)
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    i think this is really dumb i smoked for over 16 yrs had breathing issues bad cough dr told me about vaping so i went to vape store got what i need started vaping with in one week my cough was gone breathing issues gone i belive that vaping with flavored ejuices saved my life yes its true so please say the truth it thc that cause many sickness maybe dealths but it was not our flavored ejuices so dont take away our flavored ejuices i don't want to go back to smoking
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    As we are learning everyday of the complications and long term effects from using vaping, and we already know the risks from smoking. We are headed rapidly to another epidemic. This time with young people who will be the victims of long term health issues from respiratory disorders.
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    Well to be fair cigarette ads on tv were banned long ago. So maybe vapes should be as well. But I wish reasonable gun legislation would get this amount of attention. I don’t like vaping but I’m not comfortable with the possibility that it is being restricted just because the First Lady is like “please think of the children! My son might vape” lady... be a parent. Talk to him.
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    There are differences of opinion but this is not a good habit to develop.
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