PACT Notes

November 16th, 2018

CDC and FDA analyzed data from the 2011–2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, to determine the prevalence of current use (>1 day in past 30 days) of e-cigarettes, current use of any tobacco product, frequency (number of days during the preceding 30 days) of e-cigarette use, and current use (any time during the preceding 30 days) of any flavored e-cigarettes among U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students.
During 2017–2018, current e-cigarette use increased considerably among U.S. middle and high school students, by 48% and 78% respectively. As a result, during 2017-2018, overall tobacco product use increased among high school students from 19.6% in 2017 to 27.1% in 2018; among middle school students it increased from 5.6% in 2017 to 7.2% in 2018.
In response to these results, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:
“Teen e-cigarette use is a public health emergency and it requires a comprehensive nationwide response to protect this generation of children and teens. Today, data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) confirmed what we have long warned about: that youth use of e-cigarettes, including the e-cigarette JUUL, is at epidemic levels. Now, one in five high school students use e-cigarettes, a 78 percent increase from 2017. In 2018, there was also a nearly 50 percent increase in use among middle schoolers. This means more than three and a half million children were ‘vaping’ in early 2018, up 1.4 million from 2017.”
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for our nation: urgent action is needed at all levels of government. Further delay puts the health and future of our children at risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must use its authority and take urgent action to remove all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, from the marketplace. FDA must also review the ingredients and the impact on the public health of each e-cigarette product before it is allowed to stay on the marketplace.
Earlier today, FDA announced it will allow menthol and mint e-cigarettes to remain on store shelves – despite this study showing the use of menthol- and mint-flavored e-cigarettes has increased among high school students and now more than half of high school e-cigarette users are ones with menthol and mint flavors.  Sales restrictions on some flavors simply does not go far enough in responding to this public health epidemic.
The Lung Association also calls on state and local governments to act to implement proven measures to reduce youth use of e-cigarettes, including taxing e-cigarettes at levels equivalent to cigarettes; adding e-cigarettes to smokefree laws; raising the minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21; and fully funding tobacco prevention programs including mass-media campaigns aimed at preventing youth use. The Lung Association also urges state and local leaders to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
The nicotine in tobacco products including e-cigarettes is not only highly addictive, but can also cause harm adolescent brain development and developing bodies and lungs. The American Lung Association implores FDA as well as state and local leaders to take bold steps to prevent the loss of another generation to tobacco-caused death and disease before it is too late.”
To access the full statement from the American Lung Association click here.
To access the study directly click here.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it intends take a historic step forward in reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use in our nation, according to the American Lung Association. The agency announced its multipronged approach on tobacco: its intention to prohibit the sales of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, while also implementing restrictions on e-cigarette sales in certain locations.
“Today the FDA has signaled its willingness to take a major step forward to reduce tobacco use and help protect the nation’s health,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “The American Lung Association welcomes this announcement and urges FDA to move to finalize this rule and remove these flavored tobacco products from the marketplace.”
To view the full statement from the American Lung Association click here.
To access the statement from the FDA click here.
The American Lung Association has released new e-cigarette resources that include information about health effects as well as information that parents, schools and teens should know.
E-Cigarettes, Vapes, and JUULS What Teens Should Know

PACT Notes

PACT Notes – December 21, 2018

A new study found that increases in adolescent vaping from 2017 to 2018 were the largest ever recorded in the past 43 years for any adolescent substance use outcome in the U.S.

In just one year e-cigarette use among youth has skyrocketed, increasing by:
90% among 12th graders
96% among 10th graders
74% among 8th graders

PACT Notes – December 14, 2018

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1998 legal settlement between the states and the tobacco companies, which required the companies to pay more than $200 billion over time as compensation for tobacco-related health care costs.

The report challenges states to do more to fight tobacco use – the nation’s No. 1 preventable cause of death – and to confront the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette use in America. In Pennsylvania, 8.7 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes, while 11.3 percent use e-cigarettes. Tobacco use claims 22,000 Pennsylvania lives and costs the state $6.3 billion in health care bills annually.

PACT Notes – December 7, 2018

This week Senator Mario Scavello (PA-40) released a co-sponsorship memo for Tobacco 21. He is actively looking for support in the Senate and plans to introduce legislation in the session starting in the new year. While PACT is still advising that advocates wait until the new year to start their legislative visits, if you have any connections with Senators you think might be interested in support please reach out to PACT and we are happy to connect them with Senator Scavello’s Office.