Sen. Merkley wants to ban e-cig flavors, marketing appealing to kids

WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) wants to tighten the FDA’s control of the tobacco industry by banning the use of flavors and marketing that appealls to children in e-cigarettes.

Sen. Merkley told KATU he’s frustrated and angry at tobacco companies which claim these products — which have names like Skittles, Red Licorice and Peanut Butter Cut — are meant for adults only.

“This is the big lie.,” he said. “There’s no way any tobacco executive can say with a straight face, ‘We’re putting out Capt’n Crunch … or Scooby Doo flavors and those are not targeting children.'”

He says he’s worried the FDA regulations might not cover the liquid used in e-cigarettes, or would possibly grandfather in products already on the market. He said if that happens, he hopes to start a new, bi-partisan effort to push for new, tougher laws.