Proposed Bill to Combat Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic Falls Short
American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Kentucky Voices for Health oppose Rep. Miller’s bill because it doesn’t prohibit flavored e-cigarettes, won’t protect kids
(October 21, 2019) - LOUISVILLE, Kentucky
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Today, Kentucky State Representative Jerry Miller announced a proposed bill to reduce youth access to flavored e-cigarettes. The American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Kentucky Voices for Health issued the following statement regarding this proposed bill:
“We applaud Rep. Miller’s efforts to combat the youth e-cigarette epidemic here in Kentucky, however, we cannot support the proposed bill as written. This bill falls short by allowing flavored tobacco products to continue to be sold in all retail stores, which keeps these addictive products widely available to our kids. Anything short of bold and immediate action by the state to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol, fails to protect the health of Kentucky’s kids. We urge Rep. Miller to amend his bill to adequately address flavored tobacco products and protect our youth.”
“The youth e-cigarette epidemic is nothing short of a public health emergency that must be urgently confronted. Nationally, 5 million middle- and high-school students used e-cigarettes– an increase of nearly 3 million over the past two years. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the candy and fruit flavors found in e-cigarettes is one of the primary reasons kids use them. Currently, two-thirds of youth e-cigarette users use fruit flavored e-cigarettes and 64% use mint or menthol.
“We do support Rep. Miller’s evidence-based bill to tax e-cigarettes at a rate equivalent to combustible cigarettes. Increasing the price of tobacco products is a proven method to reduce tobacco use. We look forward to working with him on more legislation to address this critical health issue.
“Especially in light of the youth vaping epidemic, the health organizations remain deeply concerned about the injuries and deaths attributed to vaping across the country, including here in Kentucky. We warn that no one should use e-cigarettes because they can cause irreversible lung damage, heart, respiratory and lung diseases, and cancer.”
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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