Markey Critical of E-Cigarette Use During Golden Globes

The Massachusetts Senator and three other Democratic senators sent a letter to NBCUniversal and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts. Patch file photo credit: Chris Caesar
Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts. Patch file photo credit: Chris Caesar
By Les Masterson

U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey joined three other Democratic senators in sending a letter to NBCUniversal and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to complain about the Golden Globe Awards broadcast on Sunday, which they said showed celebrities using electronic cigarettes on TV.

Markey, along with Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut co-signed the letter that said the show serves to “glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes," reported Roll Call.

“The Golden Globes celebrates entertainers who are an influence on young fans. We ask the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC Universal to take actions to ensure that future broadcasts of the Golden Globes do not intentionally feature images of e-cigarettes. Such action would help to avoid the glamorization of smoking and protect the health of young fans,” they wrote.

In September, Attorney General Martha Coakley and 39 other attorneys general across the country sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking to “move quickly to ensure that all tobacco products are tested and regulated to ensure that companies do not continue to sell or advertise to our nation’s youth.”

There are no federal age restrictions on e-cigarettes and no rules about advertising e-cigarettes to youths. Big tobacco companies have recently entered the e-cigarette market and e-cigarette sales are expected to reach $1.7 billion this year, according to The Boston Globe.

The Massachusetts Medical Society also voted to opposemarketing, sales and use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery products especially to minors.

Read the full Roll Call article and see the complete letter here.


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