FTC begins study of e-cigarette marketing

Growing use among teens has raised concerns

By Truman Lewis of ConsumerAffairs



The Federal Trade Commission is planning to study the marketing of e-cigarettes, the first step in a process that could eventually lead to tougher regulation of sales and advertising practices for the fast-growing industry.

The agency will first send information requests to e-cigarette marketers and will use the information as a basis for a report on the sales, marketing activities, and expenditures in this new and complex industry.

Since the mid-2000s, the sale of battery-powered e-cigarettes has grown rapidly in the United States. Rather than burning tobacco, e-cigarettes heat liquid containing flavorings and chemicals (usually including nicotine) to produce an aerosol that the user inhales. E-cigarettes are sold both online and in conventional brick-and-mortar stores, are available in both disposable and refillable models, and come in a range of different flavors and nicotine levels.

The FTC is seeking clearance from the Office of Management and Budget to collect information from the e-cigarette marketers, which is the first step toward conducting the study. It will publish a Federal Register notice seeking public comment on the proposed collection of information from approximately five large and ten smaller e-cigarette marketers.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.


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