The celebrity gift bags distributed at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, which took place on Friday, August 26, contained electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”) manufactured by blu Cigs brand.During the event, blu Cigs also unveiled its latest innovation – the blu Smart Pack – a product that includes a built-in social networking feature that lets users locate and connect with other users. The company indicates that the Smart Pack technology also allows integration with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, automatic reordering capabilities, and more. Additional products features such these will pose interesting issues for regulators and industry. For instance, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. Will e-cigarettes now also be subject to FCC regulation as a communications device?
As federal, state, and local governments increase their focus on the sale and use of e-cigarettes, the Troutman Sanders Tobacco practice will continue to monitor developments in this area.