Alcohol & tobacco advertising
There are currently about 18 million alcoholics in the U.S. and more than 88,000 Americans drink themselves to death each year. About 480,000 Americans also die from tobacco related products each year. Health advocates claim the makers of these harmful products routinely market cigarettes and alcohol to our young. These products are often advertised on billboards, television, radio and other mediums which are unavoidably seen and heard by minors. However, our Federal Trade Commission claims it has not found overt evidence of such targeting. Our tobacco and alcohol industries currently regulate themselves by creating standards for the ethical advertising of their products. These standards discourage irresponsible drinking and prohibit the promotion of a beverage’s alcohol content or the effects of alcohol. These standards also call for alcohol ads to be placed only in media where 70% of the audience is over 21. However, critics say these harmful products should not be advertised on any medium that is viewed by minors. They say a precedent exists for banning these types of ads without running afoul of our First Amendment. Tobacco advertising was banned from television once the dangers of smoking were acknowledged.

Electronic cigarettes are increasingly becoming more popular. Devoid of smoke, a personal vaporizer atomizes a liquid nicotine solution into a vapor which is then inhaled. There are few studies or regulations regarding the health effects of e-cigarettes, both on users or those exposed to secondhand vapor. Some studies have found e-cigarettes may aid in smoking cessation and may be safer than smoking cigarettes. Supporters claim e-cigs are not harmful while opponents wish to regulate them as a tobacco product, particularly when it comes to advertising them to our youth.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.478 - Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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