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E-Cigarettes Target Youth Festival Goers, Study Finds

Update Date: Apr 14, 2014 03:33 PM EDT

E-cigarettes have recently been a widely popular subject. Out of concern over the potential health hazards of smoking e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine, the federal government and agencies have conducted more research examining how e-cigarettes are marketed and how these products might affect people's health. In a new study, researchers found that the majority of companies that produce e-cigarettes target their products to young people who attend music festivals.

"E-cigarettes are a candy-flavored addiction, which is dangerous to our young people across America," said Senator Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, according to the Washington Times. "The report we're releasing today makes it clear e-cigarettes have made a concerted effort to market to children."

In this survey released by U.S. Democratic congressmen and women, the researchers focused on nine e-cigarette companies and 348 events that took place within the past two years. Events included very popular music festivals Coachella and Bonnaroo as well as Grand Prix races. They researchers found that six out of the nine companies had provided free samples.

The companies included Green Smoke, which was later acquired by Altria Group Inc., and Lorillard Inc. The flavors that were offered tended to be candy flavors such as cherry crush and vanilla dreams. Oftentimes companies will use enticing flavors to gain customers.

"These are the same tactics that were used by major cigarette manufacturers before they were banned," said Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, reported by Bloomberg Businessweek. "Our findings demonstrate the FDA regulation of e-cigarettes is necessary to prevent manufacturers from targeting youth with aggressive marketing practices."

The Congress members have called for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start regulating e-cigarettes.

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