Evidence is Overwhelmingly Clear: Youth Gravitate Toward Flavored Tobacco Products

As Companies File Premarket Applications to Remain on the Market, the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey Makes Clear FDA Must Remove All Flavored Products from the Marketplace

Statement from American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer in response to the release of the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey data and the deadline for e-cigarette and many other tobacco product manufacturers to submit their premarket applications to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today:

“Today, after years of delay, tobacco companies must file premarket applications with the Food and Drug Administration. Together with partners, the American Lung Association prevailed in the lawsuit that requires e-cigarette, many cigar and other tobacco product manufacturers to file applications with the FDA for review of their products – or immediately come off the market. Last month, several organizations developed a set of principles that we urge FDA to follow as it reviews each of the applications. One key tenet is that FDA should reject all applications for any flavored tobacco product, including all mint and menthol products.

“While e-cigarette use is down among youth overall, there has been a 1,000% increase among high school students and a 400% increase among middle school students in the use of disposable e-cigarettes from 2019 to 2020, according to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey. This includes Puff Bar, disposable flavored e-cigarettes that are illegally on the market. The NYTS makes it overwhelmingly clear: kids follow the flavors.

“One year ago, President Trump announced that FDA would remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the marketplace; the subsequent reversal and decision to keep many flavored products – including mint and menthol e-cigarettes – on the market has predictably resulted in youth switching to menthol e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. The evidence couldn't be clearer: If flavored tobacco products are for sale, kids will use them.

“The American Lung Association has long advocated for the removal of all flavored tobacco products. Flavors have been shown to initiate kids to tobacco use and a lifetime of addiction and tobacco-related death and disease. For decades, the tobacco industry has targeted youth and the Black community with menthol cigarettes.

“We continue to urge the FDA to take immediate and definitive action to remove all flavored tobacco products from the market, including menthol cigarettes. In the face of a youth e-cigarette epidemic, the FDA should not further delay steps to protect the public health and to prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to tobacco products. If FDA won’t act, Congress, states and communities must act to protect our youth.”

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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