American Lung Association Urges Comprehensive Legislation Removing Flavored Tobacco Products from Shelves in Vermont
Lung Association applauds legislators prioritizing flavored e-cigarettes, but says it is not enough
(December 20, 2019) - Williston, VT
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In response to the announcement by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe that the Vermont legislature will consider regulating the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the next legislative session, Elizabeth Hamlin, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Vermont, issued the following statement:
"Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death and disease. Flavored tobacco products, from menthol cigarettes to gummy-bear flavored e-cigarettes are made to initiate new customers, primarily children, to a lifetime addition. We applaud the legislators in Vermont who seek to regulate the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to address the youth vaping epidemic, but it maintains an important loophole that leaves young lives at risk. To truly make an impact on youth tobacco use, we must look at flavored tobacco products in a holistic, comprehensive way. We urge legislators to include all mint and menthol flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in their forthcoming legislation."
According to the FDA, more than half (54%) of youth smokers ages 12-17 use menthol cigarettes, compared to less than one-third of smokers ages 35 and older. The FDA also found that the health impact of menthol cigarettes determined that menthol cigarettes lead to increased smoking initiation among youth and young adults, greater addiction and decreased success in quitting smoking. According to preliminary data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 63.9% of high school e-cigarette users used mint and menthol flavors in 2019, up from 51.2% in 2018 and 42.3% in 2017.
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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