The last 30 days have seen a flurry of tobacco control efforts aimed at reversing the youth tobacco epidemic. This epidemic has put millions of young lives at risk as more and more teenagers have started to use tobacco products, especially in highly appealing flavors like mint, menthol, fruit, and candy. Despite recent Congressional and Administrative actions, we have much more work to do. Read on to learn what’s happened and what we need to do now!
hero_image_alt_text===High school students
thumbnail_alt_text===High school students
Last month, a Congressional budget deal included language that raised the minimum tobacco sales age to 21 nationwide! This is a tremendous accomplishment and something we have pursued for years as a way to reduce youth tobacco use. Thanks to you and other advocates, tobacco 21 is now a reality! But while changing the federal tobacco sales age to 21 is a great start, Congress has not yet addressed the biggest driver of youth tobacco use today: flavored tobacco products.
In addition to Congressional action, at the start of the new year, the Administration also took steps to curtail the youth tobacco epidemic, by formalizing a policy that gives tobacco manufacturers and retailers 30 days to remove certain flavored e-cigarettes from the market. While this is an attention-grabbing headline, the plan falls well short of what is needed to combat the youth tobacco epidemic. Only cartridge- or pod-based flavored e-cigarettes have to be removed from the market. The policy still allows companies to sell fruit, candy, and mint e-liquids used in refillable open tank e-cigarettes that are typically sold in vape shops as well as allowing all menthol e-cigarettes to remain. This is significantly weaker than what the Administration first announced in September when it stated that all flavored e- cigarettes would be removed from the market. By including these exemptions, the Administration has left a wide pathway for continued e-cigarette use by our nation’s children.
How Can I Help?
Let’s make 2020 the year we end this epidemic! We are hopeful that the House and Senate will act swiftly and pass legislation that would not only prohibit the sale of ALL highly appealing flavored tobacco products like menthol, mint, fruit, and candy e-cigarettes, but will also restrict Big Tobacco’s ability to market their dangerous products to children.
While we appreciate their efforts to curtail the youth tobacco epidemic, neither Congress nor the Administration has done nearly enough. Further bipartisan action is needed if we want to protect future generations of kids from the health risks associated with tobacco use. In the coming weeks and months, we need to put continued pressure on Congress to address this deadly issue. YTC will make it easy for you to make your voice heard, so please be on the lookout for ways to help and don’t forget to click the link above to take-action today.
Thank you for standing with You’re the Cure to protect kids from the dangers of tobacco use!