Big Name Children’s Brands Take on E-cigarettes

The Associated Press reports that companies who make well-known products marketed toward children are taking on the e-cigarette world and protecting their brand names.

Lawyers for General Mills, the Girl Scouts of the USA and Tootsie Roll Industries are among those who have issued letters demanding that names like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Thin Mint and Tootsie Roll may not be used for the liquid nicotine that goes into e-cigarettes.

"Using the Thin Mint name — which is synonymous with Girl Scouts and everything we do to enrich the lives of girls — to market e-cigarettes to youth is deceitful and shameless," Girl Scouts spokeswoman Kelly Parisi said in the AP report.

Last month when the FDA announced its proposed regulations on e-cigarettes, it did not ban fruit or candy flavors, which are barred in regular cigarettes because the flavors may appeal to children.

Research and debate will continue on the risks associated with e-cigarettes and whether they represent a “harm reduction” strategy to reduce smoking of regular cigarettes. State policymakers will face a number of issues, including taxation and whether to add e-cigarettes to smoking bans.