American Lung Association Calls Governor Cuomo’s Action Insufficient to Address Youth E-Cigarette E

New York, NY (September 15, 2019)  - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced emergency action to suspend the sales of fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes in New York. Unfortunately, the action did not apply to menthol flavored e-cigarettes, which with mint flavored e-cigarettes are favored by a majority of high school students.  The need for comprehensive action is even more urgent in light of continuing reports of severe lung illnesses and deaths linked to e-cigarette use.

“The Lung Association opposes today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo regarding flavored e-cigarettes in New York,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The Governor had the opportunity to take decisive action, but instead left menthol e-cigarettes on the marketplace. While today’s announcement was well-intentioned, it will drive our youth to use menthol flavored products in even greater numbers.  We will continue to work towards the permanent removal of all flavored tobacco including e-cigarettes from the marketplace.  Flavors have been shown to initiate kids to tobacco use and a lifetime of addiction and tobacco-related death and disease. We call on the New York State Legislature to pass legislation to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes, cigars, and menthol cigarettes."

The youth e-cigarette epidemic is nothing short of a public health emergency that must be urgently confronted. In new preliminary data from the National Tobacco Youth Survey, e-cigarette use soared by another 32 percent among high school students from 2018-2019 showing that 27.5 percent of high school users have used e-cigarettes in the last month.  63.9 percent of these users report using mint or menthol flavors in the last month.

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