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Organizations Support the President's September Decision to Remove Flavored E-Cigarettes from the Market

Now is the time to act and protect the health of our children

We write to express our strong, unified support for President Trump’s proposal, made on September 11, 2019, to swiftly remove all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol flavors, from the marketplace both in retail stores and online. We urge the Administration to act without delay to finalize and implement its plan.

The support for this proposal is broad, intense and deeply held. In a joint letter issued on September 24, 2019, 56 health, medical and education community groups supported President Trump and his Administration’s September 11 announcement to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the market.

Support for the policy has only grown since that date. On October 10, 2019, a letter was sent by more than a dozen major conservative organizations in support of the President’s plan to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the market. On November 4, 2019, a letter was delivered to the White House with over 110,000 signatures from concerned citizens from all 50 states expressing support for the plan. Nearly 40,000 mothers have signed a letter expressing their support and urging prompt action.

The issue takes on increased urgency because there have been numerous reports about the White House’s deliberations on this issue that indicate that the White House may not go forward with the original decision. We want to reiterate our full support for the President’s September 11 plan.

There is no time to waste in confronting this worsening epidemic of youth nicotine addiction. More than 5 million children now use e-cigarettes, including over 1 in 4 high school students. The evidence is clear that flavors play a critical role in youth use of e-cigarettes. Research has found that nearly all (97%) current youth e-cigarette users use flavored e-cigarettes, and 70% cite flavors as a key reason for their use. The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 57.3% of high school e-cigarette users use mint- or menthol-flavored products, an increase from 38.1% in 2018 and 21.0% in 2017. When asked how the absence of flavored e-cigarettes might impact youth statistics, CHEST President-Elect and pulmonologist Dr. Steven Q. Simpson explains emphatically: “It is very likely that if e-cigarettes taste bad, fewer teenagers will pick them up than the number who will if they taste good.”

Youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction leads to increased risk of cigarette use. Tobacco remains accessible to minors, and more needs to be done to prevent young people from using these addictive products. The consequences of inaction could be serious, in Dr. Simpson’s estimation: “Teenagers who began with nicotine have progressed to cannabis vaping, which the CDC recently associated with severe lung injury.” We, therefore, must do everything we can to prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth. Now is the time to act and protect the health of our children.

Consensus Statement: We strongly support President Trump’s proposal, made on September 11, 2019, to swiftly remove all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol flavors, from the marketplace both in retail stores and online. We urge the Administration to act without delay to finalize and implement its plan. If this plan is swiftly and fully implemented, it will play a critical role in reversing the youth e-cigarette epidemic and preserve the health and well-being of our nation’s children.

On Behalf of:

Action on Smoking & Health
African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Cancer Research
American Association for Dental Research
American Association for Respiratory Care
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American College Health Association
American College of Cardiology
American College of Chest Physicians
American College of Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Dental Education Association
American Federation of School Administrators
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Medical Association
American Medical Student Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Public Health Association
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Thoracic Society
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Big Cities Health Coalition
Black Ladies in Public Health
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
Children’s Wisconsin
ClearWay Minnesota
Common Sense Media
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
COPD Foundation
Counter Tools
Eta Sigma Gamma – National Health Education Honorary
First Focus Campaign for Children
GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer
LUNGevity Foundation
Lymphoma Research Foundation
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
NAACP
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Education Association
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Network for Public Health Institutes
North American Quitline Consortium
Oncology Nursing Society
Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes (PAVe)
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Public Health Solutions
Respiratory Health Association
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
Society for Public Health Education
Students Against Destructive Decisions
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Trinity Health
Truth Initiative
U.S. PIRG
Unite to Prevent Cancer