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Tobacco-Free Kids Supports Gov. Bullock’s Emergency Action to Stop the Sale of All Flavored E-Cigarettes

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
October 08, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has taken necessary and appropriate action to address the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette use by directing the state Department of Public Health and Human Services to implement emergency administrative rules to temporarily prohibit the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes. We applaud Gov. Bullock for his leadership in recognizing that urgent action is needed to protect kids and public health from e-cigarettes.

There is no time to waste as the youth e-cigarette epidemic has gone from bad to worse, and Gov. Bullock’s action halting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes is exactly what we need. According to new data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2019 NYTS), e-cigarette use among high school students nationwide increased to 27.5% in 2019 compared to 11.7% in 2017 and 20.8% in 2018. Altogether 5 million middle and high school students now use e-cigarettes. And 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.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of serious lung illnesses reported across the country underscores the urgency of acting now to protect our kids and, indeed, the health of all Americans.

The time for waiting is over. Policymakers across the nation must act now to stop Juul and other e-cigarette companies from targeting our nation’s kids with flavored, nicotine-loaded products that are addicting a new generation and threaten decades of progress in reducing youth tobacco use.