New Data Shows Urgent Need for New Hampshire 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 Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire Legislature to Push Forward to Address Youth E-cigarette ‘Epidemic’
(November 15, 2018) - PORTSMOUTH, N.H.
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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 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on skyrocketing youth e-cigarette use. The American Lung Association in New Hampshire encourages Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire Legislature to address this epidemic by substantially increasing funding to New Hampshire’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program 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 Lance Boucher, American Lung Association, Senior Division Director, State Public Policy. “However, this effort stands in the shadow of a new report showing significantly increased use of e-cigarettes by kids. The American Lung Association calls on Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire Legislature to take swift action to protect kids from this e-cigarette epidemic and a lifetime of nicotine addiction by substantially increasing the amount of funding for New Hampshire’s tobacco prevention efforts.”
The data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 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 New Hampshire to take action now.
The United States CDC recommends that the State of New Hampshire spend $16,500,000 annually to combat the tobacco epidemic; however, the state has only allocated $140,000 for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts in FY18. The program is woefully underfunded despite New Hampshire receiving more than $261,000,000 in tobacco related revenues each year from excise taxes on tobacco products and annual payments from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 516-680-8927 and to learn more about e-cigarettes visit Lung.org/ecigs.
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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