Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Suffer the children

I read a letter today written by Democrats to the Department of Health and Human Services. They were asking to have the tobacco regulations finalized giving the FDA regulatory authority over all tobacco and e-cigarettes. In the letter was this line: "As it stands, e-cigarettes are being aggressively marketed to children..."

Where? I do not watch broadcast TV. I don't have an antenna or satellite dish or cable. I use Netflix and Amazon Prime and a little Hulu, so if there Bart Simpson is vaping, I haven't seen it. Have they started including vaping in Saturday morning cartoons? Is Barney the Dinosaur vaping? Perhaps it's all buried subliminally in the Japanese Anime or on video games I do not play. I did do a YouTube search and I found one news story and one ad for a UK company. Neither the CNN story, nor the British ad had anything resembling a My Little Pony or Monster High doll or Lego Mod.

So, can someone tell me where it's being marketed? Give me an example. Send me a video link. Send me an audio clip off of the radio.

In my little town, e-cigarettes (a name that I can't stand as there is nothing cigarette about them except for the shape and age requirements) are available in locked cases or behind the counters. The clerks check your ID if you look under 40 (and I apparently look over 40 now, dammit... 47 and I still feel mostly young). I checked the toy aisle and found no mods, no juice. I looked in the candy aisle. Nothing. The cereal aisle. Nope. There were no childrens books explaining ohms law and battery handling or juice mixing. No Vape Me Elmo coloring books.

I found toy swords and knives and toy guns and foods loaded with sugar and sugar substitutes and artificial flavors and preservatives and things I could not begin to pronounce, but I found not one whiff of an ecig.

Perhaps they are referring to the brightly colored bottles and shiny mods. I saw some on a counter at a convenience store... no, no, wait, those were lottery tickets.

Maybe it's only happening in the big city... Help?

Now, before I go on, I will publicly state, yet again, that I am for regulation. Much of which is happening voluntarily already. I don't want kids to vape. I think the bottles should have safety seals and child-resistant caps. I think there should be warning labels on them. I think there ought to be some standards for manufacturing mods, batteries, and juice. I'm not personally a fan of colorful labels with cryptic names. But moving to tax or ban a product is a long way from regulation.