Gummy bear flavored e-cigs? DeLauro seeks federal oversight to protect children

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes part of Shelton, is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put some restrictions on e-cigarettes.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, DeLauro said children are especially vulnerable to this highly addictive product.

Among the steps she asked the FDA to take are to:

∇ Prohibit tobacco companies from selling e-cigarettes to America’s youth, as they are currently forbidden from doing with traditional cigarettes

— Ban tobacco companies from targeting youth with their advertising

— Require ingredients to be listed

— Ensure all tobacco products are subject to FDA oversight

More youth using e-cigarettes

“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,” DeLauro wrote.

“These electronic delivery devices use battery-powered mechanisms to vaporize tobacco-derived liquid nicotine that are inhaled and metabolized,” she said.

Gummy bear to bubble gum flavors

She said e-cigarettes “come in a plethora of flavors attractive to youth such as chocolate, gummy bear, bubble gum, and strawberry. Parents are keenly aware that these flavors invariably appeal to a child’s palate.”

According to DeLauro, the latest data shows that in 2012 more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes.

Has the authority under current law

DeLauro, who sits on the U.S. House subcommittee responsible for funding the FDA, also pointed out in her letter that the FDA has the ability to put these restrictions on e-cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act.

The FDA recently launched a new initiative to curb adolescent tobacco use, but their initiative does not highlight e-cigarettes, one of the newest tobacco products on the market, she said.