Maria KeenaBy Maria Keena

RICHMOND, Va. (KMOX) – Think e-cigarettes are harmless?

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has another take.

“It’s just candy-flavored poison,” he says.

He and some fellow Democratic lawmakers, including California Rep. Henry Waxman, commissioned a study on the manufacturers of e-cigarettes and found their advertising practices are targeting children.

The report, released Monday, highlights several issues including an array of flavors and marketing that could appeal to young people, the lack of age restrictions and no uniform warning labels.

Durbin says the law is already written on tobacco cigarettes, and that opens the door to regulation by the FDA. He’s calling on the FDA to expand their regulation over tobacco products to include e-cigarettes.

“It gives the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies the authority to protect children,” he says. “What we want the FDA to do is to decide that e-cigarettes should be treated the same way, bring it under the same law.”

Durbin says tobacco companies weren’t initially behind e-cigarettesuntil they started making money.

“They know that if they can addict a child to an e-cigarette, the next step is into tobacco cigarettes, and then they’re addicted for life,” he says.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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