[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, issued the following statement after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan aimed at stopping youth use of e-cigarettes:
“The FDA is taking significant steps to combat the dangerous proliferation of e-cigarette use amongst American youth,” said Blumenthal. “This commendable crackdown holds Big Tobacco accountable for marketing these increasingly insidious products to children. But FDA must act immediately to halt deadly cycles of addiction before they begin – removing all kid-friendly e-cigarette and cigar flavorings from the market.”
As part of the Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, FDA issued 40 warning letters to stores selling JUUL e-cigarettes to minors, and announced a targeted “blitz” of brick-and-mortar and online retailers for sales of JUUL products to youth.
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. Last week, Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) wrote to the FDA urging the agency to take immediate steps to ban kid-friendly candy and fruit flavorings that are commonly used in e-cigarettes and cigars. The letter also urged the FDA to end the delay of the “deeming rule,” which has exempted certain tobacco products, like e-cigarettes, from FDA regulation until 2022. The senators also wrote to JUUL Labs to request information about how the product is marketed to youth and which ingredients are in the flavorings that accompany these devices, and ask that the company take a series of important steps to limit youth use of their product.