This page does not favor speech regulation, but the e-cigarette industry is forewarned that if their marketing smacks of targeting young people, their freedom to advertise could be in jeopardy.
The FDA’s decision two weeks ago to regulate the smokeless nicotine-delivery systems as they do cigarettes means the spotlight is on, and there have already been calls for ad bans.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has already asked the Federal Trade Commission to take enforcement action, even before it completes a study of ecig marketing and youth currently in the works.
There are enough questions about historic e-cigarette marketing practices—bubble gum flavors, cartoon characters, etc.—to embolden concerned lawmakers, and with reason.
We hope that is an old snapshot of an industry that can read the regulatory handwriting on the wall. If that is not the case, e-cigarette makers need to do a 180. If not, they will have no one to blame but themselves if their commercial speech rights are snuffed out.