New Data Shows Urgent Need for Local California Communities to Protect Kids from E-cigarettes
American Lung Association Urges California City Councils and Board of Supervisors to Push Forward to Address Youth E-cigarette ‘Epidemic’
(November 15, 2018) - SACRAMENTO, Calif.
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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, 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 California encourages California local governments to address this epidemic by prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol 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 Lindsey Freitas, American Lung Association in California, Senior Director of Advocacy. “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 local California elected officials to take swift action to protect kids from this e-cigarette epidemic and a lifetime of nicotine addiction by removing all flavored products from the market.”
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 communities including the cities and counties of California to take action now.
There are currently 26 cities and counties in California that have prohibited the sale of flavored tobacco products. These policies include all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes. This is a proven policy to limit the ability of youth to access these products, and help prevent a lifetime of addiction.
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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