FDA tobacco protections are an important first step

Date: May 05 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FDA tobacco protections are an important first step, APHA says

Date: May 5, 2016

Contact: Daniel Greenberg at 202-777-3913

FDA tobacco protections are an important step, says APHA

Washington, D.C., May 5, 2016 — The American Public Health Association today applauds the Food and Drug Administration’s new rule extending its authority to cover all previously unregulated tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, gels, and pipe and waterpipe tobacco. In addition, APHA calls for stronger safeguards to protect children from e-cigarette use.

FDA’s “deeming” rule, made possible by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, goes a long way to protecting public health from the significant risks posed by tobacco, the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.  Unfortunately, the rule did not go far enough to protect children. E-cigarette manufacturers remain unrestricted from online sales and marketing, specifically of sweet flavors such as cotton candy and gummy bears designed to entice youths.

“We’ve been waiting seven years for this day,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD. “It’s bittersweet, because we know kids will remain exposed to nicotine and tobacco products. For far too long, big tobacco has used savvy marketing and regulatory loopholes to sell dangerous products, and we have suffered the consequences as a nation.

“We’ve still got a long way to go to end tobacco’s destructive impact in our country. To date, 3,200 youth smoke their first cigarette every day. While today’s ruling is a major step, elimination of tobacco marketing to youth and other prevention and cessation measures are necessary to make nicotine and tobacco use a thing of the past.”

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.