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Tobacco-Free Kids Supports Gov. Inslee’s Call to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
September 27, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for declaring a public health emergency over youth use of e-cigarettes and strongly supports his call for the state Board of Health to end the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state. Such a policy would be a tremendous victory for Washington’s kids and protect them from nicotine addiction and other health risks associated with e-cigarette use.

The time is now to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic, and Gov. Inslee’s call for prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes is exactly what we need. The evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes have fueled this epidemic – 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month and 70% cite flavors as the reason for their use. The recent spate of serious lung illnesses associated with e-cigarette use has added to the urgency of acting now to protect our kids and, indeed, the health of all Americans.

According to newly-released data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2019 NYTS), the youth e-cigarette epidemic has gotten even worse in the last year. E-cigarette use among high school students nationwide increased to 27.5% in 2019 compared to 11.75% in 2017 and 20.8% in 2018. Altogether 5 million middle and high school students now use e-cigarettes.

In addition to today’s actions, the Legislature should prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. It is time to stop tobacco companies from luring and addicting kids with flavored products once and for all.