[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban flavored tobacco products and closely scrutinize Big Tobacco’s youth targeting tactics after FDA announced proposed rulemaking to examine “the role that flavors – including menthol – play in initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products,” that “appeal to kids and promote youth initiation.” FDA’s announcement followed the release of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study that found the vast majority of American youth were exposed to e-cigarette advertising designed to appeal to middle and high school-age children. A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) found that youth who experiment with e-cigarettes are far more likely to try traditional tobacco products.
“Big Tobacco’s strategy of using new products like flavored e-cigarettes to appeal directly to young people is deliberately designed to hook a new generation on tobacco – then reap the profits of their addiction,” said Blumenthal. “Deeply troubling new research from the CDC that concludes that e-cigarette ads are reaching a majority of American youth further demands strong scrutiny of Big Tobacco’s marketing tactics, including the use of flavors. FDA must act quickly and decisively to ban all flavored tobacco products to prevent countless young Americans from being lured into addiction by Big Tobacco’s predatory playbook.”
Blumenthal has long called on regulators and public health officials to significantly scrutinize the potential dangers of e-cigarettes, especially for young people who face heightened potential for addiction.