FDA acknowledges youth e-cigarette use has hit epidemic proportions
Statement by Robin Koval, CEO & President, Truth Initiative® on FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's announcement that e-cigarette use among youth has hit epidemic proportions
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- We are encouraged by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's acknowledgment today that e-cigarette use among youth has hit epidemic proportions. The FDA has taken to heart what public health advocates, parents, educators and youth have been saying for months about this crisis. This epidemic is particularly troubling given the high addiction potential that products like JUUL present to youth. However, an epidemic requires urgent and serious action, and the FDA must not cede its authority to the industry. Asking the tobacco industry to come up with solutions is the proverbial case of asking the fox to guard the hen house.
After decades, there is no evidence that the tobacco industry is able to regulate itself. We have learned the hard way from many years of experience that the tobacco companies should not be the ones to decide solutions. Instead, the FDA should act quickly to use its pre-market review authority to ensure products like JUUL are properly reviewed and regulated before they ever get to market. The JUUL phenomenon is, in part, a result of continuing delays on this front. The time for action is before a product is in every high school in the United States, not after. If the FDA is serious about addressing the youth e-cigarette epidemic, it would simply enforce the law and immediately begin review of e-cigarettes, especially those products that are already on the market. The FDA should also be moving to remove all flavored tobacco products from the market -- unless a manufacturer shows that they help adults switch completely from cigarettes and do not attract youth -- which is clearly not the case for the most popular products currently on the market.
About Truth Initiative®
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public-education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco. The Washington, D.C.,-based organization, formerly known as Legacy, was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about how Truth Initiative speaks, seeks and spreads the truth about tobacco, visit truthinitiative.org.
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