American Lung Association Applauds Rhode Island’s Swift Enactment of Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order Ending the Sale of all Flavored E-Cigarettes
(October 4, 2019) - Providence, RI
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The Rhode Island Department of Health today put into action Governor Gina Raimondo’s recent executive order to end the sales of all flavored e-cigarettes in Rhode Island, including mint and menthol. The Executive Order, issued on September 25, 2019, and the regulations which become effective as of today, were issued to protect citizens of Rhode Island from the ongoing youth e-cigarette epidemic and in light of continuing reports of lung injuries and deaths linked to e-cigarette use.
Jennifer Wall, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Rhode Island said, “The American Lung Association applauds Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health for taking swift and bold action to end the sales of flavored e-cigarettes in Rhode Island. Flavored tobacco products are the major reason many teens and children first try tobacco, so ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes is critical to addressing the youth e-cigarette epidemic. This action is even more urgent in light of over one thousand vaping-related lung injuries being reported across the country.
“We are proud to see Rhode Island take this urgent step – and are hopeful that they will also consider comprehensive tobacco protection for our youth. Legislation extending the prohibition of flavored e-cigarettes to all flavored tobacco products, expanding the existing tobacco tax to e-cigarette products, and raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21 years old would go a long way towards helping our young people live healthy, tobacco-free lives. We also recommend the state fully funds the Tobacco Control Program (TCP) within the RIDOH at the CDC recommended level of 12.8 million annually to help provide more education and cessation resources for people of all ages.”
The youth e-cigarette epidemic is nothing short of a public health emergency that must be urgently confronted. In new preliminary data from the National Tobacco Youth Survey, e-cigarette use soared by another 32 percent among high school students from 2018-2019 showing that now 27.5 percent of high school users have used e-cigarettes in the last month.
Since this is a nationwide problem, the American Lung Association again calls on the FDA to immediately remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the market nationwide, stop all tobacco industry marketing to children, and issue a rule that would establish effective age verification mechanisms for all online sales.
The agency also must enforce the law by prohibiting the introduction of new e-cigarette products without prior agency review and authorization and promptly review products already in use.
Until the FDA takes these necessary steps, states and cities should continue their growing efforts to protect kids by prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes.
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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