WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the budget for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has released the following statement after the FDA proposed plans to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes, and e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs subsequently announced that it would take steps to curtail sales of its flavored products in retail stores.
The FDA’s proposal and JUUL Labs’ announcement comes after mounting public pressure in response to a surge in vaping using e-cigarettes among youth.
“Today’s announcement from the FDA curbing the sale of flavored e-cigarettes is an important step in the right direction. For too long, e-cigarette manufacturers have been given free rein to entice kids with sweet flavors, fueling addiction and increasing the risk of cigarette use. As a result, we’ve seen vaping among young people reach truly alarming proportions. With today’s proposal, the FDA has taken a positive first step toward combatting the popularity of these harmful products among our youth.
“Flavors like ‘cotton candy,’ ‘tutti frutti,’ and ‘creme’ belong in a candy store – not masking chemicals that could damage our kids’ lungs. Going forward, we must continue to prevent e-cigarette manufacturers from appealing to kids and exposing them to the potentially harmful health effects of vaping, and demand transparency from manufacturers about the dangers of inhaling vapor from e-cigarettes, which could contain carcinogens and other toxins. Our children deserve to be protected from a lifetime of nicotine addiction, and I’ll continue pushing for strong action to safeguard the public health and safety of New Mexico families and communities.”
In recent years, the popularity of e-cigarettes among youth has skyrocketed as manufacturers marketed their potentially dangerous products to kids through the use of sweet flavors. More than two million middle and high-schoolers are using e-cigarettes today, with 81 percent of kids who have ever tried an e-cigarette starting with a flavored product. The problem is even more acute in New Mexico, where 51.5 percent of New Mexican teens have used e-cigarettes—higher than the 42.2 percent of teens nationally who had used the devices.