NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- In Sen. Charles Schumer's opinion, the makers of bubble gum- and cotton candy-flavored electronic cigarettes aren't fooling anyone.
"Anyone who doubts that they are not marketing this to kids ought to ask how many adults want gummy bear cigarettes?" Schumer, D-N.Y., said during a Midtown Manhattan news conference Sunday.
As 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported, Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing campaigns targeted at children. Since the makers of conventional cigarettes cannot market to children, e-cigarette companies should not be allowed either, Schumer argued.
Schumer Looks To Snuff Out E-Cigarette Marketing To Kids
"They do it first through deceptive packaging and labeling," Schumer said. "They refer to their products as e-hookahs (and) vape pens instead of what they really are -- cigarettes."
A study published last week in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics found that middle and high school students who smoke e-cigarettes are seven times more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes.
The American Association of Public Health Physicians recommends e-cigarettes to smokers as a way to wean off traditional cigarettes. While they don't contain tar, they still have nicotine, which can be addictive.
"Instead of being harmless, e-cigarettes are actually a gateway to conventional smoking, particularly for kids," Schumer said. "That's the problem."
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