Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has taken necessary and appropriate action to address the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette use by directing state agencies to stop the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes. We applaud Gov. Brown for her leadership in recognizing that urgent action is needed to protect kids and public health from e-cigarettes and for proposing a comprehensive strategy to address this crisis.
There is no time to waste as the youth e-cigarette epidemic has gone from bad to worse and Gov. Brown's action prohibiting all flavored e-cigarettes is exactly what we need. According to new data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2019 NYTS), e-cigarette use among high school students nationwide increased to 27.5% in 2019 compared to 11.7% in 2017 and 20.8% in 2018. Altogether 5 million middle and high school students now use e-cigarettes. And the evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes have fueled this epidemic – 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month, and 70% cite flavors as the reason for their use.
Meanwhile, the recent spate of serious lung illnesses reported across the country underscores the urgency of acting now to protect our kids and, indeed, the health of all Americans.
Gov. Brown's order also directs state agencies to develop legislative proposals for long-term solutions. We look forward to working with Gov. Brown and the state legislature to pass legislation to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. It is time to stop tobacco companies from luring and addicting kids with flavored products once and for all.
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids