By JANELLE HOM
As many students return to school for the first time in months, the American Lung Association urges FDA to act swiftly in ending sale of all flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes.
Since August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed and ordered more than one million flavored e-cigarette products off the market. While this is encouraging news, FDA still hasn’t announced a decision on e-cigarettes most used by kids, including Juul, despite a court-ordered deadline of September 9, 2021.These products are now illegally on the market and should no longer be sold.
It is urgent that the Biden Administration follow the science and act to remove all flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes and cigars, from the marketplace. The harm these products cause to youth shows that they fail to meet the basic standards laid out in the law. Ultimately, ending the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products, including menthol, is the clear path to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
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Florida’s kids cannot afford further delay. Every day that these extremely addictive products remain on the market our kids are at risk. The Lung Association urges Congress as well as Florida to take action and end the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
In addition to flavored e-cigarettes, the Lung Association urges the Food and Drug Administration to act quickly to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.
On April 29, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would propose two rules to remove menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from the marketplace. The Lung Association has advocated for FDA to remove all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, for more than a decade and welcomes this announcement as an important step to address tobacco-related health disparities.
Removing menthol cigarettes and many flavored cigars from the marketplace will prevent many kids from starting to smoke and promote cessation, especially among Black Americans, whom the industry has targeted relentlessly for decades. These actions have the potential to save millions of lives.
The American Lung Association is committed to helping educate and prevent the use of tobacco and nicotine by the next generation. With youth e-cigarette use at epidemic levels, our work to reign in the tobacco industry has become even more important. We hope you will join us at Lung.org.
The Lung Association has resources to prevent tobacco use and help youth quit, specifically designed for schools, parents and teens, including Get Your Head Out of the Cloud, and our Vape-Free Schools Initiative as well as more resources available online.
Janelle Hom, is Executive Director, American Lung Association in Florida.