Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 4, 2015

Durbin, Democrats Rip E-Cigarettes as ‘Candy-Flavored Poisons,’ Want Ban on Sale to Children

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Seven Senate Democrats are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to regulate electronic cigarettes, citing a new report on nicotine poisoning.

The senators, led by Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, asked FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg in a new letter to regulate newly-developed nicotine products.

“The emerging market of new nicotine delivery products raises serious public health and consumer protection concerns. It’s time for the FDA to stop the sale of these candy-flavored poisons to our children,” Durbin and his colleagues wrote in Tuesday’s letter.

The latest in a series of missives about so-called e-cigs comes in response to a New York Times report on hazards associated with the nicotine liquids that are used in filling e-cigarettes. The New York Times referred to them as “powerful neurotoxins.”

Tom Harkin of Iowa, Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Jeff Merkley of Oregon joined in the new letter.

“Over the years we have seen the emergence of new nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, hookah pens, dissolvable nicotine orbs and strips, and liquid nicotine products, also called e-liquids, which are marketed to appeal to children with bright colors and flavors like cherry and bubble gum,” the senators wrote. “Unlike traditional cigarettes and tobacco products, these novel nicotine products are not subject to federal regulations that prohibit sale to minors, restrict marketing to youth, ban products in candy and fruit flavors, and regulate manufacturing practices and ingredients.”

Comments (64)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Doc Velvet

    March 25, 2014
    7:22 p.m.

    I am a 42 year old man who smoked 3 packs a day for over 20 years. I was finally able to quit smoking last august and switch to electronic cigarettes. My flavors of choice are BERRY CREAM, BLUEBERRY and WATERMELON. I am all for restricting sales to minors, but adults like flavors too! There are no shortage of candy flavored vodkas on the market. Law makers seem to think its enough to just have age restrictions on the sale of those products. Lets not limit smokers on the options they have while kicking their deadly habits.

  2. watcher64

    March 26, 2014
    12:45 a.m.

    So Cake flavored vodka, Whipped Cream Vodka, is NOT marketed to children? But just because it is remotely related to smoking it is evil ..

    Grow a freaking brain cell ….

  3. 3xaparent

    March 26, 2014
    2:15 a.m.

    If minors have access to nicotine products, it’s their parents the deserve the punishment for being bad parents, not people who choose to participate in harmless activities.

  4. jake

    March 26, 2014
    3:32 a.m.

    If you going to report on something, then why only report part of the story. This article regurgitates a debunked NYTimes hack job that had no research and very little substance, but nothing about the numerous other well researched articles that have actual fact based information about ecigs.

    • Arshin Carnifex

      March 26, 2014
      4:16 a.m.

      I saw that article too. #1 most emailed, according to them.

      NYC has a very specific, very pernicious brand of Stalinism; they see the purpose of government in none of the pretty lights and bright colors that the rest of the Liberals do.

      Government to NYC is a boot stomping on their enemies’ faces, forever.

      How do I know? I used to live there and hang out with them.

  5. Arshin Carnifex

    March 26, 2014
    4:32 a.m.

    Helps millions help themselves without the intervention of government, and in doing so saves hundreds of thousands of lives.



    Where have we heard this before?

  6. Jim McLeod

    March 26, 2014
    8:50 a.m.

    Shouldn’t this fall under FDA? Once the legislation gets their hands on it, they’ll try to stick taxes and possibly load restrictions on it when crossing state lines. I don’t need the Senate to protect me from something that is not really a problem.

  7. Lady Beki Jane

    March 26, 2014
    9:49 a.m.

    I fully support a ban on the sale of nicotine containing e-cigarette products to under 18s. But not because they are in any way being marketed to children. They are not, and in fact most ecigarette vendors already voluntarily age check and sell only to over 18s. There are no children in my house. I make my own ejuice. I have made Caramel, Creme caramel, Murray mint and custard flavoured ejuices. These flavours are obviously designed for me to add to my juice to entice these non-existent children who I never see and who never see me vaping or smell what I’m breathing out. I must be the witch from the fairy
    tale, but instead of a gingerbread cottage I have clouds of flavored
    exhaled vapor wafting on the breeze. Clouds of exhaled vapor which
    contain less nicotine than a bag of crisps, or a tomato, or a portion of
    cauliflower, which must be oh so very addictive. These non existent
    kids must be sniffing and following the trail back to my door where I
    welcome them with loud cackles. Please note that this is satire; I am

    If these flavors were designed to market ecigs to children, then I
    as an adult vaper would obviously have no interest in adding them to my
    own home made juices. I add these flavors to my juice because the
    flavors in ejuice are an important part of what keeps me using the
    personal vaporizer rather than going back to smoking tobacco. If I stick
    to the same flavor day in and day out, I stop tasting it and vaping
    becomes less rewarding to me compared with lighting up a tobacco cigarette. Having said that, the flavor of my ejuice is so pleasant to me that the idea
    of lighting a tobacco cigarette is repugnant, and disgusting. When my female best friend smokes near me it stinks and is generally foul, but I support her
    right to smoke because that’s her choice and I have no right to dictate
    to her.

    Where I fall out with public health and clueless politicians is that they would deny me, and thousands of smokers like I used to be, a huge part of the mechanism of what makes vaping more effective than smoking, out of a misguided attempt to protect children. It’s like banning all airbags from cars because children might be hurt by one. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The flavours in ejuice are there because it makes these products more effective for adult smokers to use to switch from smoking burnt tobacco.

    There is another argument here, as sugar becomes the new demon ‘drug’
    being chased out of our lives. Are diet drinks a ‘gateway’ to sugar drinks? Does the consumption of sugar-laden orange juice lead to consuming vast amounts of evil-BIG SUGAR-fizzy drinks? Should we therefore ban all flavours in liquids which contain sugar, and limit them only to sugar-free drinks? Should sugar be put under medical regulations, and products that contain over [arbitrary limit] only be available on prescription to ‘addicts’?

    It’s nonsense, all of it. Please stop dictating my consumer choices. I’m a rational adult. An angry rational adult.

  8. EKeller

    March 26, 2014
    10:37 a.m.

    The senators did not cite a “new report”; they cited a news report. Senators should be getting their scientific information from scientific reports, not newspaper articles. One of the so-called experts interviewed for the story did refer to nicotine as a “powerful neurotoxin”, but “name-calling” is a well-recognized propaganda technique. The nicotine in e-cigarette liquids is no more or less toxic than the nicotine in traditional tobacco products or the nicotine in the FDA-approved patch, gum, lozenges, inhaler, and nasal spray. The New York Times did mention that there has only been one death from e-cigarette liquid (in 2011), but that was not a child–that was a successful suicide by a 29-year old male who injected himself with liquid. Why do it that way? It is very difficult to achieve fatality by oral ingestion of a product that contains nicotine, because the stomach reacts by triggering vomiting, which purges the potential poison from the body. The only child fatality from nicotine over the past 30 years did not stem from pleasant-flavored new products designed to help smokers switch to a less hazardous alternative. The single incident involved a child under the age of six who ate conventional tobacco cigarettes. Researchers wrote, “however the co-ingestion of both cigarettes and diazepam complicates an assessment of a contributory role of tobacco.” More than half of the states have already enacted laws to prevent e-cigarettes being sold to those under the legal age for purchasing tobacco products. The remaining states are free to (and should) follow suit, without the need for the FDA to give the orders. The 2012 report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers noted 7,308 exposures to tobacco products (of which 5,313 involved conventional cigarettes), 672 cases of exposures to pharmaceutical nicotine products, and 172 exposures to e-cigarettes.

  9. Ladybug Frankie

    March 26, 2014
    11:09 a.m.

    I have smoked since i was 13 yrs old n have tried so many things to stop but could not. I am now smoke free thanks to Vape Revolution and their many flavors, I stopped smoking with Karma Cream flavor and have remained smoke free for over 1 yr now.

  10. thinkliberty

    March 26, 2014
    11:53 a.m.

    It seems like they should ban candy flavoured vodka while their at it. Only children drink those flavoured vodkas?

  11. Arthur Dent

    March 26, 2014
    11:55 a.m.

    It’s time for us adults to be able to use products that aren’t for children without having to worry about the children. Parents need to watch their kids, not the government, not the rest of the adult population! There is flavored booze and flavored cough medicine on the market – those items aren’t for children either. It’s time for people to start using their damn brains and tell kids, “NO, this is not for you! You are a child and you don’t get to use this!”

  12. left wing

    March 26, 2014
    1:10 p.m.

    durbin and the dems love a police state and hate freedom.

  13. VapeIsNotBad

    March 26, 2014
    4:57 p.m.

    This guy is an idiot, just because they are flavored as candy does not mean they are marketed towards children. So edible condoms are geared towards children too? Makes sense to me lets just do whatever this genious thinks..

  14. keith stammers

    March 26, 2014
    7:24 p.m.

    Is Durbin aware that the FDA have already approved candy flavoured nicotine gum [ sold at Wallmart ] may be his paymasters Big Pharma who made donations to his party weren’t clear or maybe he was not listening to his instructions – they said they want electronic cigarettes banned because they are destroying the NRT market and the smoking related disease market currently worth over $289 billion per year, he had better get his story straight if he wants anymore lobbying donations.

  15. Lisa

    March 26, 2014
    9:01 p.m.

    I have been a smoker for 30 years and quit smoking thanks to Vaping. Nothing else has worked. NOTHING

  16. ppc

    March 26, 2014
    10:01 p.m.

    Durbin and other Democrats need to drop this crusade NOW. There are many Democrats and progressives who use ecigarettes. This is one of the best public health advancements of modern times, and the position these Democrats are taking is anti-science, anti-people and anti-health. Terrible idea.

  17. Bozeman

    March 27, 2014
    9:56 p.m.

    Are liberals losing it? In a somewhat related video we find deranged lunatic Chris Matthews comparing radio-personality Mark Levin to North Korea’s totalitarian communist dictator Kim Jong Un:

  18. Defend The Constitution

    March 28, 2014
    12:08 p.m.

    If Floyd Corkins, Chris Dorner, Karl Pierson, Ed Schultz, Troy Gilmore Jr., John Muhammed, Hussein Obama, Lee Boyd Malvo, Demetrius Glenn, and Aaron Alexis are any indication, today’s liberals are becoming increasingly unhinged, aggressive, and violent.

  19. cigarbabe

    April 1, 2014
    1:07 a.m.

    Had I known Sen. Markey was one of the anti science, anti ecig and anti health extremist’s I NEVER would have VOTED for him and neither would the rest of “MA. Vapers” of whom there are many. You Lunatics proposing these unfounded bans based on bad reporting should truly be ashamed of yourselves. I quit smoking almost four years ago thanks to ecigs with flavors.
    I VAPE and I VOTE.

  20. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:38 p.m.

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  21. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:31 a.m.

    you may have an important weblog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  22. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:20 a.m.

    Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, thanks.

  23. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:04 p.m.

    As soon as I noticed this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  24. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:48 a.m.

    Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  25. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:05 p.m.

    wonderful put up, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  26. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    1:33 p.m.

    My wife and i ended up being now ecstatic when John managed to conclude his investigation from the precious recommendations he came across while using the web page. It is now and again perplexing just to always be giving freely tactics a number of people could have been trying to sell. And we acknowledge we now have the blog owner to give thanks to for this. The type of explanations you have made, the easy blog navigation, the friendships you will help instill – it’s everything impressive, and it’s aiding our son in addition to our family believe that this theme is awesome, and that is pretty fundamental. Thank you for the whole thing!

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    2:51 p.m.

    hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this site, since I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:24 a.m.

    I haven?¦t checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    10:43 a.m.

    I and my friends were actually reviewing the excellent guidelines on the blog while all of the sudden came up with an awful suspicion I never expressed respect to the web site owner for those tips. All the young men came certainly excited to see them and now have definitely been using those things. Thanks for actually being indeed kind as well as for choosing this form of perfect guides most people are really wanting to be informed on. My personal honest apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    5:34 a.m.

    I’m extremely inspired together with your writing skills as smartly as with the structure in your weblog. Is that this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    1:19 p.m.

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    2:23 p.m.

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice evening!

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    1:49 a.m.

    It¦s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I¦m glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:49 a.m.

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    2:06 p.m.

    I would like to express appreciation to the writer for bailing me out of this matter. As a result of browsing through the world-wide-web and obtaining basics which are not helpful, I thought my life was gone. Living without the solutions to the issues you’ve sorted out by means of your report is a serious case, as well as those which may have negatively damaged my entire career if I hadn’t noticed your blog post. Your main talents and kindness in maneuvering everything was important. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a subject like this. I am able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for your impressive and effective help. I won’t be reluctant to propose the sites to any person who requires recommendations about this problem.

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:25 p.m.

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was once a amusement account it. Look complex to more brought agreeable from you! However, how could we keep in touch?

  37. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:35 p.m.

    I was looking through some of your articles on this site and I conceive this site is very instructive! Keep on putting up.

  38. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    10:40 p.m.

    Some genuinely nice stuff on this website , I like it.

  39. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    11:31 a.m.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really understand what you are speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally visit my web site =). We will have a hyperlink trade contract among us!

  40. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    7:09 p.m.

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

  41. tom si jerry romana

    Sept. 4, 2015
    5:04 p.m.

    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  42. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    6:14 p.m.

    You are my aspiration, I possess few blogs and sometimes run out from post :). “Fiat justitia et pereat mundus.Let justice be done, though the world perish.” by Ferdinand I.,about,index.html

  43. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    7:05 a.m.

    Merely wanna input on few general things, The website design is perfect, the subject material is very great : D.,about,index.html

  44. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    8:34 a.m.

    I am not real good with English but I line up this rattling leisurely to understand.

  45. tom&jerry

    Sept. 10, 2015
    12:10 a.m.

    Thanks again for the article.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    7:02 a.m.

    Some genuinely good articles on this web site, regards for contribution. “An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.” by Dylan Thomas.

  47. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    10:41 a.m.

    Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my blog thus i got here to “return the prefer”.I am trying to to find issues to enhance my site!I assume its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!

  48. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    3:11 a.m.

    I just could not go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info a person provide to your guests? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to investigate cross-check new posts

  49. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    9:56 a.m.

    I do not even know how I finished up here, but I thought this submit used to be great. I don’t know who you might be but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you are not already ;) Cheers!

  50. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    11:30 a.m.

    My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  51. homeowners and auto insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:19 a.m.

    Make sure you described this totally, because I wish to get more details.

  52. esurance homeowners

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:32 a.m.

    Make sure you described this totally, because I wish to get more details.

  53. state farm insurance quotes

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:51 p.m.

    Use our free quotes to get discounts on auto or home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save up to 505 annually.

  54. mutual insurance

    Sept. 22, 2015
    2:17 p.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  55. amica insurance customer service

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:43 p.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  56. amax auto insurance irving tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:25 p.m.

    We offer you huge discounts, just enter your zip code

  57. amax auto insurance san antonio

    Sept. 22, 2015
    7:07 p.m.

    Try discounts up to 40% on auto or home insurance.

  58. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    12:27 a.m.

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  59. federated insurance quotes

    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:21 a.m.

    Make you policy cheaper by getting free quotes from mutual home and auto insurance companies.

  60. federated mutual insurance

    Sept. 23, 2015
    7:06 a.m.

    Try discounts up to 40% on auto or home insurance.

  61. federated national insurance reviews

    Sept. 23, 2015
    7:07 a.m.

    Choose our best quotes from mutual home and auto insurance companies. Save on policies!

  62. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    3:48 p.m.

    I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my web site :)

  63. Anonymous

    Sept. 28, 2015
    11:15 a.m.

    EaqC9v This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I ave shared your site in my social networks!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...