Chicago, IL | February 15, 2018
Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer in response to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article "Reasons for Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students—National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2016":
"E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among U.S. high school and middle school students. Today's article confirms some of the worst fears regarding teens and e-cigarettes: Teens are using these products because the candy and fruit flavors are appealing to them, their friends and family are using them, and they think e-cigarettes are less harmful.
"We cannot continue to allow the lure of e-cigarettes to attract and addict our kids to nicotine, exposing them to potentially dangerous toxins and carcinogens and a lifetime of addiction. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must be proactive in enforcing the Tobacco Control Act and move forward with removing all flavored tobacco products from the market. FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research must also work to crack down on unproven therapeutic claims that have given the false impression to youth that these products are safe.
"In January, the Lung Association released our annual 'State of Tobacco Control' report, which gave FDA an 'F' for significantly weakening its deeming rule. This rule gives the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products authority over e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and other previously unregulated tobacco products. In July, FDA announced it would delay full implementation of the rule by more than four years. The report also highlights how all but two states fail to invest the recommended funding amounts in their Tobacco Control Programs. These programs allow states to provide prevention and cessation programs, including those that help ensure kids don’t get addicted to nicotine.
"In August of 2017, FDA announced that their highly successful 'Real Cost Campaign' will include a full-scale media campaign in 2018 to prevent teens from using e-cigarettes. This campaign will use proven methods to educate teenagers about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Continuing this ground-breaking education and outreach, along with the full implementation of the deeming rule and a crackdown on misleading therapeutic claims and marketing to kids, will counter the false advertising and information e-cigarette companies use to lure kids to begin using their addictive and deadly products."
Learn more about e-cigarettes and lung health at Lung.org/ecigs. For media interested in speaking with an expert about e-cigarettes, tobacco use and lung health, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. 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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