Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes a part of Shelton, is urging speedy implementation of new e-cigarettes rules proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
DeLauro applauded the part of the proposed rules banning e-cigarettes from being sold to anyone under 18 years old, noting she previously had urged the FDA commissioner to take that step.
“Disturbing trends show that a growing number of our nation’s youth are using electronic cigarettes, which provide the latest method for delivering addictive nicotine into their systems,” said DeLauro, a 12-term Democrat.
“The rule proposed today is a good first step towards reversing that trend, but it is only a step,” she said Thursday. “I strongly urge the [Obama] administration to implement the rule expeditiously, and not let it get delayed or watered down by corporate interests.”
DeLauro sits on the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee responsible for funding the FDA. Congress gave the FDA the authority to regulate e-cigarettes under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act, which DeLauro co-sponsored.
Wants action on e-cig flavors, too
DeLauro raised concerns about the continued sale of e-cigarette flavors she believes are intended to be attractive to young people.
“The FDA should also develop additional rules to curb the marketing of flavored e-cigarettes, which are particularly attractive to youth, as part of a comprehensive attack on this growing problem,” she said.
“E-cigarettes come in a plethora of flavors that are attractive to youth — chocolate, gummy bear, bubble gum and strawberry, just to name a few,” she said.
Almost 2 million kids have tried
DeLauro said the potential for kids and teenagers to become hooked on e-cigarettes should be taken just as seriously as addiction issues with traditional cigarettes.
“The latest data shows that in 2012 more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes,” she said. “The FDA first announced plans to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes three years ago. Our children’s health cannot be put at risk one moment longer.”
Too accessible to youth
DeLauro also is worried about continuing to allow e-cig point-of-purchase displays in convenience stores and other locations.
She said while the proposed rules say “vending machines are restricted to adult-only facilities … I am disappointed it does not similarly limit self-service displays, such as next to candy or on the counter in convenience stores. Keeping e-cigarettes and flavored cigars in these places ensures they will remains easily accessible to youth. The FDA needs to address this issue.”
Sample give-aways, ingredients
The FDA’s proposed new rules on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products were released Thursday, and should be finalized after a 75-day public comment period.
Among other changes, the new rules would prohibit giving out free samples, require companies to register product ingredients with the FDA, and mandate submitting evidence before promoting claims of risk reduction connected to a product.
About Rosa DeLauro
DeLauro is in her 12th term representing Connecticut’s Third Congressional District. The Democrat was first elected in 1990 and lives in New Haven.
Part of Shelton also is in the Fourth Congressional District, represented by Jim Himes, a Democrat from Greenwich.