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56 Health and Other Organizations Back Trump Administration Plan to Remove Flavored E-Cigarettes from the Market

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In a letter to President Trump, 56 public health, medical, parent, educational and other organizations today expressed strong support for the Administration’s plan to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market and urged that the plan be swiftly and fully implemented. A similar letter was sent to First Lady Melania Trump, who has raised alarms about the youth e-cigarette epidemic and supported efforts to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market.

In response to new data showing that the youth e-cigarette epidemic has gotten even worse this year and 5 million U.S. kids now use e-cigarettes, the Administration on September 11 announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon issue a final policy to “clear the market” of flavored e-cigarettes – including mint and menthol as these two flavors are used by 64 percent of high school e-cigarette users. The Administration stated that the FDA will issue the policy within weeks and enforce it a month later.

“Our organizations commend and fully support your plan to remove all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes from the market, including mint and menthol flavors. If this plan is swiftly and fully implemented, it will play a critical role in reversing the youth e-cigarette epidemic,” the letter to the President states.

Results of two newly-released national surveys show the youth e-cigarette epidemic is worse than ever and is putting millions of kids at risk of nicotine addiction and other health dangers.

  • According to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2019 NYTS), e-cigarette use among high school students increased to 27.5% in 2019, up from 20.8% in 2018 and 11.7% in 2017. Altogether, 5 million middle and high school students – including more than 1 in 4 of all high school students – now use e-cigarettes.
  • Similarly, the 2019 Monitoring the Future survey showed that 25.4% of 12th graders report vaping nicotine in the past 30 days, compared to 20.9% in 2018 and 11% in 2017. Alarmingly, 1 in 9 of all high school seniors (11.7%) report that they vaped nicotine nearly daily, a strong indication of addiction.

The evidence is clear that flavors play a critical role in youth use of e-cigarettes. Research has found that nearly all (97%) current youth e-cigarette users use flavored e-cigarettes and 70% cite flavors as a key reason for their use. The 2019 NYTS found that 63.9% of high school e-cigarette users use mint or menthol-flavored products, an increase from 51.2% in 2018 and 42.3% in 2017.

Adding to the urgent need to protect kids, health authorities are currently investigating at least 530 cases of serious respiratory illnesses associated with use of e-cigarette products in 38 states, with 9 deaths now reported. Many cases involve teens and young adults.

In their letter to First Lady Melania Trump, the organizations thanked her for raising the alarm about the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The First Lady joined the President in the Oval Office for the announcement of the new policy to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market, and she recently tweeted, “I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”

Here is the list of groups signing the letter to the President:

Academy of General Dentistry

Action on Smoking and Health

African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council

Allergy & Asthma Network

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association for Cancer Research

American Association for Respiratory Care

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American College of Cardiology

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American Dental Association

American Federation of School Administrators

American Federation of Teachers

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

American Medical Student Association

American Public Health Association

American School Health Association

American Society of Clinical Oncology

American Thoracic Society

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Catholic Health Association of the United States

ClearWay Minnesota

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America

Counter Tools

Eta Sigma Gamma – National Health Education Honorary

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

March of Dimes

National African American Tobacco Prevention Network

National Association of County and City Health Officials

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of School Nurses

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Education Association

National Hispanic Medical Association

National Network of Public Health Institutes

Oncology Nursing Society

Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes (PAVe)

Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes

Public Health Law Center

Public Health Solutions

Respiratory Health Association

Society for Public Health Education

Students Against Destructive Decisions

The Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Trinity Health

Trust for America’s Health

Truth Initiative

U.S. PIRG

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