American Lung Association Responds to Mayor Lightfoot’s Flavored Tobacco Announcement
(September 16, 2019) - CHICAGO
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American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement regarding Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s announcement today to commit to lead an effort to end all sales of flavored tobacco products in Chicago:
“Thank you to Mayor Lightfoot for announcing bold action against the youth e-cigarette epidemic by working to end all flavored tobacco product sales in Chicago.
“Last week, federal officials announced that e-cigarette use among youth has increased to 27.5 percent, with 63.9 percent of those youth using mint or menthol e-cigarettes. We greatly appreciate Mayor Lightfoot including all products, including mint and menthol, in her actions.
“The Lung Association has long advocated for the removal of all flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol, as flavors have been shown to initiate kids to tobacco use, and a lifetime of addiction and tobacco-related death and disease. We look forward to reviewing the city’s plan and providing our input.
“The youth e-cigarette epidemic is nothing short of a public health emergency that must be urgently confronted. More than 3.6 million middle- and high-school students used e-cigarettes last year – an increase of 1.5 million over the previous year – and public health authorities warn that these numbers likely have continued to rise. Research shows that 97 percent of current youth using e-cigarettes used a flavored product in the past month, and 70 percent cite flavors as a key reason for their use.
“Especially in light of the youth vaping epidemic, the Lung Association remains deeply concerned about the illnesses and deaths attributed to vaping across the country, including here in Illinois. We warn that no one should use e-cigarettes because they can cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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