Should e-cigarette ads be regulated?

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - E-Cigarettes are advertised as a way to help people stop smoking real cigarettes. However, it might actually be doing just the opposite among teens.

More and more teenagers are exposed to ads for e-cigarettes, and new research shows those ads actually increase the likelihood teens will try smoking.

“I definitely think it’s one of those gateway things that opens up to other things. I can definitely see someone going from an e-cigarette because they see no harm in it, to actual cigarettes and maybe other things,” said Alexus Stone of West Springfield.

Journal Pediatrics researchers found the number of kids exposed to e-cigarette ads increased by 256% from 2011 to 2013. TV ads for traditional cigarettes have been banned since 1971.  However, e-cigs are fair game. More than 24 million kids have been exposed to their commercials.

The cable network ‘”AMC” aired the most e-cigarette advertising followed by cable channels “Comedy Central” and “VH1.”
A Massachusetts resident says e-cigs can be a huge help for smokers trying to ween off nicotine.

“If you’re trying to quit, e-cigarettes could definitely be beneficial. But I could easily see how kids could get hooked on cigs by smoking e-cigs,” said Dylan Tarr of West Springfield.

The FDA is considering banning the sale of e-cigs to minors, but marketing and advertising restrictions are currently not part of the proposal.

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