Members of Congress Call on E-Cigarette Makers to Explain Marketing Tactics Targeting Kids Brown and Colleagues Release Letter to “Electronic Cigarette” Makers Demanding Answers; Brown Urges FDA for Action on E-Cigs Being Sold and Marketed to Children
within the previous 30 days. This study reinforces growing concerns regarding the marketing of e-cigarettes to youth through tactics currently prohibited for traditional cigarettes. Additionally, the study finding that 1 in 5 middle school students who reported using e-cigarettes had never tried conventional cigarettes suggests that for youth e-cigarettes could be a gateway to nicotine addiction and smoking.
In light of public health concerns regarding exposure to addictive nicotine in e-cigarettes and the sharp rise in e-cigarette use among teens, we want to better understand your company’s policies and practices related to the sale, marketing, and distribution of e-cigarettes. We respectfully request that you provide a written response to the following questions by October 25, 2013.
1.Does your company market e-cigarette products to children, teens, and adults? If so, what advertising tools do you use to target these demographics?
2.Has your company ever sponsored any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural events under the brand name of e-cigarette products? Please provide the name and date of the sponsored event and include a description of any age restrictions that were placed on the event participants or attendees.
3.Has your company ever aired radio or TV ads to market e-cigarettes? If so, please provide copies and describe the advertisement, including the day and time when it was aired, the audience it was intended to reach, and whether any restrictions were put in place for the advertisement purchase.
4.Does your company have in place a policy that sets what the media buying target age should be for advertising media? If so, please provide a copy of that policy. If not, why not? Does this policy place restrictions for advertisement purchases for audiences under the age of 18?
5.Does your company use social media to promote or market your e-cigarette products? If so, does your company place restrictions on the ages of individuals who have access to your social media sites? If yes, please describe. If not, why not?
6.Does your company use print media to promote or market your e-cigarette products? If so, does your company place restrictions on the ages of individuals who have access to your print media? If yes, please describe. If not, why not?
7.Please explain what steps your company has taken to restrict marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teenagers. Since the release of the CDC study on youth use of e-cigarettes, has your company taken any steps to modify its marketing practices? If so, please explain.
8.Does your company utilize celebrity spokespeople, who appear in advertisements or at events related to e-cigarettes? If so, please name the celebrity and the specific product(s) endorsed, and at what events or in what types of advertisements.
9.Has your company conducted market research for e-cigarette products related to images and messages that appeal to adolescents, or consulted with outside experts on consumer psychology and behavior in order to inform marketing strategies? Please provide documentation of any such research and the names of any experts or outside groups with whom your