The battle over e-cigarette advertising has made its way to the U.S. Congress, with the chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on economic and consumer policy sending letters to four e-cigarette companies asking them to stop all print, broadcast and digital advertisements for their products in the U.S.
Reuters reports that the action Wednesday by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi came the same day that market leader Juul announced it was pulling all of its ads. As we reported previously, Juul CEO Kevin Burns stepped down the same day.
About a week earlier, CBS, Viacom and WarnerMedia became the latest major media companies to pull the plug on e-cigarette advertising.
Following the voluntary action by Juul, Krishnamoorthi is quoted saying in a letter sent to Fontem Ventures, Japan Tobacco International Inc, Reynolds American Inc and NJOY LLC: “I am writing today to respectfully, but strongly, request your company to do the same.”
Reuters adds: “The panel’s request comes amid an outbreak of vaping related illnesses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday there are now 805 confirmed and probable cases of lung illness and 12 deaths associated with vaping in the United States. The CDC has urged people to stop using e-cigarette or vaping products.”
The report also notes: “Fontem Ventures, which makes Blu e-cigarettes, said in a statement it agrees that children should not use vaping products and that it supports initiatives to prevent youth access to its products. Reynolds American said in a statement it is giving the letter ‘careful consideration.’ Japan Tobacco and NJOY did not immediately respond to request for comment.”