Big Tobacco Back on Television, FDA Cuts In

By Camille H, Parent Herald September 04, 01:02 pm

Big Tobacco is back on television introducing new nicotine products that look like cigarettes, according to USA Today.

"It's time we take our freedom back. " said actor Stephen Dorff. "Blu e-Cigs can be smoked "at a basketball game... in a bar with your friends... virtually anywhere. Come on guys, rise from the ashes," he added.

These new advertisements for electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes hark back to an era when smoking was en vogue and people could light up on airplanes, in offices, and everywhere else. The new advertisements showcased former Playboy model and up-coming host of The View, Jenny McCarthy.

The new offerings are sparking another round of tortured tobacco wars. Each of the nation's top three tobacco companies recently entered into a booming unregulated e-cigarette market. Likely, more states are restricting the product, and the U.S. government is expected to announce -- as early as October -- its plan for regulation.

Many Americans are experimenting with e-cigarettes. About six percent of all U.S. adults and 21 percent of adult smokers said they tried them in 2011, double the 2010 rate, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found six in 10 were aware of them in 2011, up from four in 10 a year earlier.

The Food and Drug Administration will soon step into the issue. It's expected to assert its authority to regulate them as tobacco products, because their nicotine is derived from tobacco leaves, after all. "No one knows what will come out. The FDA has played its cards close to the vest," says Georgetown University pulmonologist Nathan Cobb, who sees e-cigarettes as nicotine replacement therapy akin to gum, patches and lozenges.

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