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Leading Health Organizations Respond to Maryland E-Cigarette Taskforce: Address the Tobacco Epidemic Through Proven Policy Solutions

 Joint statement from ACS CAN, American Heart Association, American Lung Association,and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


ANNAPOLIS, Md., Oct. 23, 2019—Today, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced he is creating a taskforce to examine the public health and safety implications of electronic smoking devices.

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Lung Association (ALA), and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids all stand united in saying that we recognize Comptroller Franchot for his concerns about the e-cigarette epidemic; however, now is the time for proven policy solutions. We are committed to the use of evidence-based policy solutions to combat the e-cigarette epidemic and a taskforce is unfortunately not the right solution. 


“We are committed to combating the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The current situation demands strong policies that are proven to reduce tobacco use. The good news is that we already know what three evidence-based policies work best to prevent and reduce tobacco use including the use of e-cigarettes: increasing prices on all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by increasing the tax on cigarettes by $2 per pack with an equivalent tax on all other tobacco products including e-cigarettes; implementing comprehensive smoke-free and tobacco-free policies; and fully-funding evidence-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs. 


“We call it the three-legged stool because each component works in conjunction with the others—and all three are necessary to combat the state’s tobacco epidemic.The Tobacco Industry started the epidemic in youth tobacco use and they do not need a forum to continue their efforts in impeding policy solutions in Maryland. Right here in Maryland, 1 out of 8 high school students uses e-cigarettes and nearly 13% of adults across the state still smoke. To protect future generations from a lifelong addiction to tobacco and to help those who are trying to quit, we must act now with a permanent comprehensive policy approach, which includes removing all flavored tobacco products from the market.  


“We strongly urge Maryland’s lawmakers to act in the upcoming state General Assembly Legislative Session 2020 to pass a bill increasing the tax on cigarettes by $2 per pack with an equivalent tax on all other tobacco products including e-cigarettes, restoring $21 million of funding to the statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including, but not limited to, flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. We need to act, and the time is now. We look forward to Comptroller Franchot’s support on these proven policy solutions.”


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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org. 


The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


The American Lung Association in Maryland: 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.


The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco. We work to save lives by advocating for public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand sm


    Page Last Updated: October 24, 2019

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