August 22, 2021
By Jessica Mathews / [email protected]
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a bipartisan coalition calling on the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes and oral nicotine products to help curb what is being described as a youth nicotine epidemic.
Nessel and 30 other Attorneys General urge FDA to implement measures to help stem surge in youth nicotine use and addiction to e-cigarettes and a new generation of oral nicotine products .
Specifically, the coalition calls on the FDA to use its regulatory power to eliminate flavors appealing to young people; limit nicotine levels in electronic cigarettes and oral nicotine products such as sachets, gum and lozenges; and impose marketing restrictions and effective age verification measures.
A press release says the FDA is responsible for deciding whether to allow products to remain on the market and that the proposed measures would deny approval of products that would worsen the nicotine epidemic among young Americans.
Nessel has said the nicotine epidemic among young people is an urgent public health issue and she is urging the FDA to take immediate action and use its regulatory powers to place restrictions on products that harm young people.
E-cigarette use among high school students is believed to have increased significantly, from 1.5% in 2011 to 11.7% in 2017 and then to 27.5% in 2019. Data for 2020 showed that 19, 6% of high school students had used an e-cigarette. in a previous 30-day period – with 38.9% of those reporting using it for 20 days or more in that 30-day period. 22.5% reported daily use.
The release says that in addition, oral nicotine products – especially sachets – are fast becoming the fastest growing nicotine category in convenience stores and have grown by about 500%. It is estimated that 13% of people aged 15 to 24 have used oral nicotine products in a given 30-day period.
The coalition argues that a ban on candy, mint, fruit and menthol flavors is key to removing the product’s appeal to young consumers. More than 80% of young people using electronic cigarettes would choose flavors other than tobacco.
The FDA is expected to decide whether e-cigarettes and oral nicotine products should be allowed to remain on the market starting September 9.
More information and statistics are available in the attached press release.