FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2018
Contact: David Carl (505) 288-2465
Research Repeatedly Shows Flavored Tobacco Leads Middle and High School Students to Begin Tobacco Use at Young Age
Albuquerque, NM — Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a bipartisan coalition of nine Attorneys General in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban flavored
tobacco products. In March, the FDA began soliciting information related to the role that flavors play in the use of tobacco products. As part of its rule-making process, the FDA is seeking comments, data, research, and other results regarding flavored tobacco and its impact on certain populations. The Attorneys General are urging a complete ban of flavors in all tobacco products
“There is no question that smoking tobacco at a young age can be incredibly damaging to the health of New Mexican children, leading to throat, mouth, gum and lung cancers later in life,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “Giant, out-of-state tobacco companies are using flavorings in their products in an effort to get kids hooked at a young age. They’re trading the health of New Mexican children for their own corporate profits.”
The comment letter urges the FDA to ban the use of flavors in all tobacco products for a number of reasons. Research has shown that flavored tobacco products are appealing to youth, leading them to begin using the products at a young age. The majority of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes, cigars, or hookah use flavored tobacco products. Moreover, use of tobacco products put youth and young adults at a greater risk for developing coronary artery disease, cancer, and other tobacco-related diseases. Moreover, tobacco products that are flavored with menthol are more likely to pose a greater public health risk that those non-menthol flavored tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes usage is higher in not only youth tobacco users, but also in minority populations.
In 2009, Congress enacted the Tobacco Control Act (TCA), which effectively banned cigarettes that contained flavors other than tobacco or menthol, and granted the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. The TCA was passed in order to reduce the number of youth who smoke and become addicted to tobacco products. The Attorneys General urge the FDA to follow in the footsteps of Congress and ban all flavors in other tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, little cigars, and other non-combustible tobacco products.
Joining AG Balderas in filing this comment letter are Attorneys General from Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
A copy of the letter is attached below.