WASHINGTON, D.C. >> Thirteen Members of Congress on Monday called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action to protect young people from what they call predatory e-cigarette marketing and distribution tactics that they claim are straight out of big tobacco's playbook.

According to the journal Pediatrics, the number of children aged 12 to 17 years exposed to e-cigarette marketing increased by 256 percent between 2011 and 2013. This increased exposure has coincided with a rise in the use of e-cigarettes by youth and an increased risk of addiction to tobacco products.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the members wrote: "While FDA's proposed rule sets the stage for future regulations, strong regulatory actions on marketing to children, e-cigarette flavors and online sales cannot wait. FDA has an existing mechanism to protect children now-without waiting years to implement new regulations to accomplish these goals."

The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as well as U.S. Representatives Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Diana DeGette (D-CO).

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