(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released the following statement on the Center for Disease Control’s Tobacco Youth Study which found that in just one year, e-cigarette use among middle school and high school students tripled, with approximately 2 million students now using e-cigarettes; despite the increase in e-cigarette use, there was no decline in overall tobacco use among this age group.
“Nicotine addiction is surging through e-cigarette use – a disastrous tribute to the endless ingenuity of the tobacco industry. Exploding in popularity, e-cigarettes are Big Tobacco’s tool to hook the next generation,” Blumenthal said. “As a gateway to nicotine addiction, e-cigarettes are a burgeoning market and public health menace. If federal agencies fail to act, they should be deemed AWOL in this public health battle and even complicit in the consequences.”
Blumenthal has been a vocal advocate for stronger regulations of the tobacco industry and has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation to restrict nicotine marketing, sales, loopholes, and usage. In just this current Congressional session, Blumenthal has sponsored the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act, the Tobacco Tax Equity Act, and the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act. In addition to co-authoring legislation, Blumenthal has frequently written to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging them to use their authority to enforce stronger regulations on the tobacco industry and all tobacco products.