Youth nicotine use has not gone away, even with decades of campaigning to educate kids about the dangers of addiction. In fact, there is an ongoing surge in the use of e-cigarettes, or “vaping”.
A coalition of Attorneys General, including Michigan’s, are asking the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the industry and stop allowing flavors that appeal to kids and to stop selling things like nicotine pouches, gum, and lozenges. They also want to tighten up marketing restrictions and age verification measures.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said, “The youth nicotine epidemic is an urgent public health matter and it is on us to ensure that the health and safety of our youth is not jeopardized. I urge the FDA to take immediate action and use its regulatory powers to impose restrictions on these products that are harming our young people.”
The marketing that the AGs are trying to stop seems to be very successful. Vaping has gone up from 1.5 percent of high schoolers in 2011 to 27.5 percent in 2019. Eighty percent of young people who use e-cigarettes choose candy, mint, or fruit flavors.
The FDA could rule on September 9th of this year as to the future of flavored vapes and other high-nicotine products.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland