Pallone Urges President Trump to Follow Through on Promise to Issue E-Cigarette Flavor Ban
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to President Trump today urging the President to fulfill a promise he made last month in an Oval Office press conference that his Administration would ban all harmful flavored e-cigarette products, including those with mint and menthol.
“It is long past time to address the public health risks associated with e-cigarette use, and a first step towards doing so would be to remove flavored e-cigarette products from the market,” Pallone wrote to President Trump. “While your announcement on September 11 was promising, so far it is a promise that has gone unfulfilled. I urge you to issue the compliance policy you announced without further delay and ensure that the policy applies to all harmful flavored e-cigarette products, including those with mint and menthol flavors.”
Pallone raised concern in the letter over recent reports that the Trump Administration is considering retreating from the announced policy after facing resistance from the President’s re-election campaign staff and industry lobbyists.
“I am deeply concerned by recent reports that indicate your administration is reconsidering this policy and retreating on its promise to clear the market of mint and menthol flavored e-cigarettes,” Pallone continued in his letter to the President. “Perhaps worse, these efforts appear to be coming from political operatives and special interests. Flavored e-cigarettes are attractive to kids and are a huge public health concern, and politics should never outweigh the common good in setting our nation’s public health policy.”
E-cigarette use among young people has risen dramatically in recent years. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use among high school students has more than doubled since 2017, with more than 27.5 percent of high school students reporting using e-cigarettes in a survey released this year. As youth e-cigarette use has grown, so has the popularity of mint and menthol flavors. In 2017, 42.3 percent of high school student e-cigarette users reported using mint and menthol flavored e-cigarettes while 63.9 percent reported mint and menthol use in 2019.
Flavored e-cigarettes pose a unique public health threat since flavors such as cool mint can lure young people into a lifetime of nicotine addiction and negative health outcomes. E-cigarette usage also increases the risk of young people transitioning to traditional cigarettes as users are more than four times as likely as non-users to become regular smokers, further increasing their risk for developing deadly diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Read Pallone’s letter HERE.