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New Data Shows Need For Washington To Act To Protect Kids From E-Cigarettes As Fda Announces Plans To Move Forward With Ending The Sale Of Menthol Cigarettes And Flavored Cigars

American Lung Association Urges Legislature to Push Forward to Address Youth E-cigarette ‘Epidemic’

(November 15, 2018) - SEATTLE

For more information please contact:

Holly Harvey
[email protected]
(206) 512-3292

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it intends to take a historic step forward in reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use in our nation. The agency announced a multipronged approach on tobacco: its intent to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, while also implementing restrictions on e-cigarette sales in certain locations. However, the FDA’s response to protecting youth from e-cigarettes will not be sufficient in light of the startling new data released today on youth e-cigarette use, according to the American Lung Association. The American Lung Association in Washington encourages the Legislature to address this epidemic by raising the age to purchase tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices to 21, to reduce and prevent youth e-cigarette use.

“With today’s announcement, the FDA is taking an important step forward in the effort to reduce tobacco use and protect the nation’s health,” said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Washington. “However, this effort stands in the shadow of a new report showing skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes by kids. The American Lung Association calls on our Washington Legislature to take swift action to protect youth from this e-cigarette epidemic and a lifetime of nicotine addiction passing Tobacco 21 legislation this year.”

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced that youth use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed, with a 78 percent increase in high school students’ use of e-cigarettes since last year – meaning that one in five high school students are using e-cigarettes. It also shows a nearly 50 percent increase in the use of e-cigarettes by middle school students since 2017. While reducing youth access to e-cigarettes is an important step, the Lung Association continues to urge the FDA to use its full authority to protect kids, including ending the sales of all flavored tobacco products, including all flavored e-cigarettes, from the marketplace. And in the meantime, the Lung Association is calling on states, including Washington, to take action now.

During the 2017 legislative session, House Bill 1054 proposed raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21. This legislation received bipartisan support and was passed on the House Floor with a 63-35 vote. Together with stakeholders, the American Lung Association in Washington plans to build on this momentum to pass similar legislation in both Houses during the 2018 session.

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact Holly Harvey at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 206-512-3292, and to learn more about e-cigarettes visit Lung.org/ecigs.

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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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