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

September 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – 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