In what NBC News is calling a “scathing” report, the American Lung Association rips the Food and Drug Administration for failing to take any action to stem the epidemic of teen vaping.
One of the proposals from the Lung Association is to raise the legal age of buying e-cig products to 21 and getting rid of fruity e-cig flavourings.
From the NBC News story:
“This year’s report finds a disturbing failure of the federal government and states to take action to prevent and reduce tobacco use in 2018, placing the health and lives of Americans at risk, including our youth,” the American Lung Association’s national president and CEO, Harold P. Wimmer, said in a statement.
“The FDA’s failure to act has emboldened the tobacco industry, which has become increasingly aggressive in seeking to delay or oppose proven policies,” Wimmer said.
States need to raise their minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market, Erika Sward, national assistant vice president for advocacy for the American Lung Association, told NBC News.
“As a result of the failure by the federal and state governments to act, the tobacco industry is on a resurgence,” and therefore maneuvering “to addict our kids,” Sward said.
This final point is a really important to remember about the tobacco industry’s ties to e-cigs. The industry absolutely control the e-cig market, especially since Altria (formerly known as Philip Morris, makers of Marlboros) bought a stake in Juuls, the biggest e-cig brand on the market. Big Tobacco already owned Blu E-cigs, MarkTen and Vuse.
The industry sold people the disease — cigarettes. And is now selling people the cure — e-cigs. Pretty ingenious, huh?
So, cigarettes have become socially unacceptable, how is the tobacco industry recovering its costs? A wildly successful e-cig market and a 78 percent increase in teen vaping.
The report also grades states on their efforts toward tobacco control. The Lung Association doesn’t mince words. Most every state gets a failing grade. A handful get As, California gets a B.
The FDA is talking tough about e-cigs lately, but so far hasn’t taken any firm action. One proposal from the agency is to require that e-cigs be sold in areas cordoned off to teens, but no one has any idea how that could work. A proposal to restrict all sales to tobacco shops was dropped as quickly as it was raised.
It may be too little too late for the FDA to stem the epidemic of teen vaping. This epidemic grew and grew for four or five years before the FDA even acknowledged it.