Results of the released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outline the ongoing health threat to our nation’s youth posed by e-cigarettes, and the pressing need to remove flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products from the market. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focusing on heart and brain health, issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
“The findings released today show that tobacco industry marketing continues to result in youth e-cigarette use at highly concerning levels that are likely increasing with the return to school after pandemic shutdowns.
“Of particular concern are the vast number (85 percent) of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes who prefer flavored products. The data speak to the need for further regulation, including FDA issuing decisions on the outstanding premarket tobacco applications for some of the most popular brands on the market. The American Heart Association continues to urge the FDA to both complete its review of all premarket tobacco applications and ensure products that have received marketing denial orders are removed from the market.
“In addition, the data show more than half (55.3 percent) of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes are opting for disposable products, which are not subject to the restricting flavors in cartridge-based e-cigarettes. It is clear the tobacco industry has been successfully manipulating loopholes in its ongoing attempts to hook youth and adults to its harmful products.
“The data reinforce the need to take immediate action on synthetic nicotine products including Puff Bar, the most popular e-cigarette brand among middle and high school students. Congressional legislation signed into law earlier this year requires synthetic products to be removed from the market if they did not receive a marketing order from the FDA by mid-July. The FDA should immediately order these products to be pulled from the market while they undergo agency review, and remove products that failed to submit an application by the May 14 deadline.”
“This report should send an urgent message that the tobacco industry shows no signs of slowing down its targeting of young people. The FDA should complete its review of all premarket tobacco applications for flavored products, remove synthetic nicotine without an FDA marketing order from the market and follow through with strong final rules to remove menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars from the market. Meanwhile, states and communities must continue their efforts in support of prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products.”