American Lung Association Applauds Washington Governor Inslee’s Action to Address E-Cigarette Epidemic, Encourages Further Steps
(September 27, 2019) - SEATTLE, Washington
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Washington Governor Jay Inslee today took executive action to protect Washington residents from the growing youth vaping epidemic by requesting the State Board of Health move to prohibit the sale of all flavored vapor products, developing a warning sign on health risks for e-cigarette retailers, authorizing increased public information campaigns on e-cigarettes, and other actions to curtail this epidemic. This is a positive step in combating the growing scourge of vaping, especially considering continued reports of severe lung illnesses and deaths linked to e-cigarette use.
“The American Lung Association applauds Governor Inslee for taking this action to protect the health of Washingtonians,” said Carrie Nyssen, senior director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Washington. “While we strongly support this step, to adequately address the youth e-cigarette epidemic, we know more must be done to prevent youth from beginning to vape in the first place. Youth are attracted to flavored e-cigarettes, and the Lung Association encourages federal and state governments to remove all flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes, e-cigarettes and flavored cigars from the marketplace to prevent a lifetime of addiction and tobacco-related death and disease.”
The youth e-cigarette epidemic is nothing short of a public health emergency that must be urgently confronted. Last week, federal officials announced that e-cigarette use among youth has increased to 27.5 percent, an increase of 32 percent since 2018. Of the youth who use e-cigarettes, 63.9 percent are using mint or menthol e-cigarettes. Research shows that 97 percent of current youth e-cigarette users used a flavored product in the past month, and 70 percent cite flavors as a key reason for their use.
“Our state experienced great success in reducing smoking rates when we had prevention and cessation funding in the past. Our successful program has been gutted, and now is the time to reinvest in our youth by providing adequate funding for prevention programs,” said Nyssen. “Our state brings in over $550 million in tobacco revenue while investing less than $2 million in prevention programs.”
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and e-cigarette use, contact Holly Harvey at [email protected] or 206-512-3292.
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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