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New Federal Task Force on Illegal E-Cigarettes Can Be Important Step if Followed by Comprehensive Enforcement Actions

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
June 10, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the creation of a federal multi-agency task force to combat the illegal distribution and sale of unauthorized e-cigarettes. 

The creation of this task force can be an important step in preventing youth use of e-cigarettes, which are endangering the health and well-being of young people. We encourage the Administration to take an aggressive approach in clearing the market of illegal e-cigarette products, which the public health community has been requesting consistently and most recently urged in a letter to the relevant agencies tasked with enforcement.

This move will only have an impact if it is immediately followed with concrete and comprehensive enforcement actions. These agencies must fully utilize all the enforcement tools at their disposal, including larger civil monetary penalties, no-tobacco-sale orders, product seizures, import restrictions, injunctive actions and criminal prosecutions. The FDA has authorized the sale of only 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and stated that “these are the only e-cigarette products that currently may be lawfully sold in the U.S.” All unauthorized e-cigarettes should be removed immediately, especially the flavored products that are addicting our kids and endangering their health.