Skip to comments.Senators: Golden Globes Should Celebrate Achievements in Film, Television; Not Smoking, E-Cigarettes
Posted on 01/14/2014 6:12:05 PM PST by kristinn
WASHINGTON, D.C.] Following a primetime broadcast of the Golden Globes that featured prominent images of celebrities smoking e-cigarettes, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today asked NBC Universal and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to take action to ensure that future broadcasts avoid the glamorization of smoking and protect the health of young fans.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigs have more than doubled in use among high school students in just one year from 2011 to 2012. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year found that in addition to releasing candy and fruit flavored vapors that appeal to youth, many release nicotine, which could increase the likelihood that youth become addicted to nicotine and start using conventional cigarettes.
Each year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizes excellence in film and television at the Golden Globe Awards. Throughout the country and the world, people tune in to watch fashionable actors on the red carpet, enjoy the show, and root for their favorite films and actors. Unfortunately, this year, many young viewers saw notable displays of e-cigarette use throughout the awards show, including the opening monologue and repeated shots of celebrities smoking e-cigarettes, the Senators wrote.
In light of studies showing that exposure to on-screen smoking is a major contributor to smoking initiation among youth, we are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
Responding to the growing popularity of tobacco products like e-cigarettes among young people, in September, Durbin, Blumenthal, Brown, Markey, and eight other Members of Congress called on nine e-cigarette makers to provide additional information regarding the sale, distribution, labeling, and marketing of their products to children and teens. Currently, e-cigarettes are not subject to federal laws and regulations that apply to traditional cigarettes such as the prohibition on selling to persons younger than 18, distribution of free samples, television and radio ads, and having characterizing fruit flavors that appeal to kids. A copy of that letter is available here.
In December, Durbin, Brown, Markey, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to promptly complete its review of a proposed rule from the FDA, which would expand the FDAs regulatory authority over tobacco products. A copy of that letter is available here.
In April, Durbin, Blumenthal, Brown, and U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Jack Reed (D-RI) called on the FDA to issue deeming regulations asserting regulatory authority over tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes, and to restrict the sale, distribution and marketing of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products to children and young adults. A copy of that letter is available here.
Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Every year, tobacco use kills over 440,000 Americans accounting for one in five deaths. The U.S. Surgeon General, the CDC, and the National Cancer Institute have concluded that tobacco causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases. Smoking costs the United States about $193 billion each year in health care expenses and lost productivity.
[Text of todays letter is below]
January 14, 2014
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
646 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Stephen B. Burke
Chief Executive Officer
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
Dear Mr. Kingma/Mr. Burke:
We write to express concern regarding the prominent display of electronic cigarettes at Sunday nights Golden Globe Awards.
Each year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizes excellence in film and television at the Golden Globe Awards. Throughout the country and the world, people tune in to watch fashionable actors on the red carpet, enjoy the show, and root for their favorite films and actors. Unfortunately, this year, many young viewers saw notable displays of e-cigarette use throughout the awards show, including the opening monologue and repeated shots of celebrities smoking e-cigarettes. In light of studies showing that exposure to on-screen smoking is a major contributor to smoking initiation among youth, we are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that simulate traditional tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain cartridges filled with flavors, chemicals, and the highly addictive substance, nicotine, which are vaporized and inhaled by the user. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette use is growing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of U.S. adults who have tried e-cigarettes doubled. Further, a CDC study released in September 2013 found that in just one year, from 2011 to 2012, the percentage of high school students who have ever used e-cigarettes more than doubled from 4.7 percent to 10 percent.
In spite of the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and limited research on their long-term health effects and risk for increasing use of traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are currently not required to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for evaluation or approval. In 2009, FDA conducted a limited analysis of a sample of e-cigarettes. The analysis found significant quality control issues such as the presence of carcinogens and toxic chemicals, variation in the dose of nicotine in each inhalation, and the presence of nicotine in products claiming to be nicotine-free. The study raises concerns regarding the safety of these products, the levels of nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals, and the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teens.
Unlike traditional tobacco products, e-cigarettes can be legally sold to children and are currently not subject to federal age verification laws. E-cigarettes marketed to appeal to kids in candy and fruit flavors, like bubblegum and strawberry, are readily available to youth in shopping malls and online. These products risk addicting children to nicotine, which could be a pathway to cigarettes and other tobacco products.
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.
I’m glad the national legislature has nothing else to do.
I bet Turdbin would ban hydrogen cars-they exhale water vapor,too.
Everything you see on TV now and smoking is what upsets these Nazi bastards.
Dad-gummed country careening down the slippery slope into the socialist abyss, and all these a$$clowns can come up with is chastising the libtard artist-types about fake cigarettes?
No wonder we are heading for the dust bin of history.
If they were smoking pot they would be applauding.
First the Golden Globes, then the SAG awards ... art imitating life?
Funny how nobody cares about drug use being depicted in the media.
A lot of people care, one of the reasons ratings are down I bet. A lot of people are simply turned off by the media these days.
But they had nothing to say to Kennedy and Dodd about assaulting a waitress. That’s a Democrat for ya.
This country is going to hell and THIS is what they worry about??
I saw the best of this country. I don’t recognize it anymore.
Unbelievable. This shameless idiots who know nothing about anything, but presume to have the wisdom to manage all aspects of society, need to be told to just shut up and mind their own business.
I have no interest in the Golden Globes, but just for this one occasion I would love to be in an executive position with the Golden Globe organization so I could send the senators a one word response: “Nuts!”
These liberals found nothing objectionable about the masturbation jokes told by Tina Fey and that other blonde girl, but they are concernec about the messages sent by e-cigarettes.
They want to censor e-cigarettes but not the masturbation jokes.
Glad to know their priorities.
What a bunch of meddling, self-righteous old biddies. Good grief. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. Leave everyone else alone.
E-cigs are a hell of a lot better than regular cigs or even a pot cigarette, it is the burning of plant matter that causes free radicals that cause 99% of the cancer in cig smoke.
I have know people who used to smoke regular cigs, they switched to e-cigs and it actually helped them quit.
Am I the only one wondering WHY there is a crusade to legalize POT smoking while tobacco smoking is being outlawed and reviled. Why is it bad to smoke one plant but damn near holy to smoke another? Isn`t ALL smoke bad for your lungs? Will “no smoking” laws apply to weed? Are the “legalize marijuana” people going to obey the laws against smoking? Will it be ok to smoke weed where tobacco smoking is forbidden? Are tobacco smokers going to stand for the discrimination? No one ever discusses the contradictions of criminalizing the enjoyment of one plant while legalizing and praising the other. And I don`t-and have never-smoked.