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Where we stand: Federal collection of electronic nicotine delivery systems marketing & product data

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has collected information on the sales and marketing expenditures of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and reported that information to Congress for decades. Truth Initiative supports expanding the collection and reporting of marketing and sales data to include Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).

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Leading a partnership with five other public health organizations, we submitted comments in December 2015 in response to a proposal by FTC that it seek information from the marketers of electronic nicotine delivery systems. We urge FTC to collect data for all types of products in this category and from across the many distribution channels, including large manufacturers, vape shops, online retailers, and other retail outlets.

Further, we recommended that FTC collect information on:

  • Sales and giveaways;
  • Expenditures on all marketing channels;
  • All types of product placement;
  • Age-screening mechanisms;
  • Nicotine strengths;
  • Flavors, in three categories: tobacco, menthol/mint, and other flavors; and
  • Sizes and liquid capacities.

We believe reports that include this product and marketing information will help the public health community better understand the variety of e-cigarette products, where and how they are sold, and how much is being spent to promote these products. These are data that otherwise are difficult to find or not available. We urge FTC to begin its data collection and dissemination as soon as possible given the rapid growth and change of this product category. 

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