The Food and Drug Administration announced new plans to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and further curb youth tobacco use by reducing youth access to some flavored e-cigarettes
Murray: “Today’s announcement is an important step, but too much is at stake to be content. We must remain vigilant about protecting kids from tobacco.”
New data shows e-cigarette use rose 78 percent among high school students in 2018, 48 percent among middle school students
One-in-five high school students using e-cigarettes as of 2018
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement in response to new data showing a sharp uptick in youth tobacco use and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcing new steps to address that problem. The new data found that e-cigarette use increased sharply among high school students in recent years, jumping from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 20.8 percent in 2018.
“The latest data make clear that the dangerous epidemic of youth tobacco use has been getting worse and the need for action is urgent. The wellbeing of a generation of children is on the line. I’m encouraged by the Food and Drug Administration’s latest plans; swift action on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars has the potential to save many lives and we should be doing everything we can to keep e-cigarettes, and all tobacco products, out of the hands of kids. But strong and swift progress to implement today’s announcements is key and there is still more work to do to protect kids from all kid-appealing flavors and marketing. I will be watching closely to see that we don’t miss this critical opportunity to reverse the alarming trend of rising youth tobacco use. Today’s announcement is an important step, but too much is at stake to be content. We must remain vigilant about protecting kids from tobacco.”
In its announcement today, the FDA laid out plans to ban menthol flavors in traditional cigarettes, to ban flavored cigars, and to take steps to restrict access to most—but not all—e-cigarette flavors. The agency also indicated it would take steps to limit e-cigarette marketing to kids. The steps were announced along with new findings showing that e-cigarette use has increased 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students in the past year alone. Senator Murray has repeatedly called for strong action by FDA to combat youth tobacco use.