Declaration of Robin KovalCEO and President, Truth Initiative
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration to deny marketing authorizations for all JUUL e-cigarettes, making it an illegally marketed product, is a huge public health victory that will save lives and protect millions of adolescents and young adults from the harms of nicotine use and the risks of addiction. We commend the Biden administration and the FDA for taking this urgent and long overdue action that clearly recognizes the significant role that JUUL has played in sparking the youth e-cigarette epidemic, an epidemic that the Surgeon General of the United States, had a negative impact on the physique. and the mental health of American youth. By holding JUUL accountable and prioritizing public health over corporate benefit, the FDA is making the right decision – one that we, together with our public health partners, have urgently called for, as well as the removal of all flavored electronic cigarettes, including menthol.
The FDA noted in its denial of JUUL’s application that there was insufficient toxicological evidence to determine that keeping them on the market would be “appropriate for the protection of public health” – the standard by which the FDA must assess tobacco products. The history of JUUL makes it clear that these products – owned in part by Altria, the maker of Marlboro – have no place in our society. Congressional hearings in 2019 into JUUL’s role in the youth e-cigarette crisis provided, along with the company’s own testimony and documents, startling evidence that from virtually day one of its existence, the company has used numerous strategies and tactics targeting young people, including the use of social media influencers, attempts to infiltrate school curricula, and even funding summer camp programs for children as young as eight year. The result, in 2018 JUUL had captured an astonishing 75% share of the e-cigarette market and even more shockingly had been driving a youth vaping rate that at its peak included 27.5% of vaping. high school students as regular e-cigarette users and was so pervasive in youth culture that school bathrooms were nicknamed “JUUL rooms”.
Now that the FDA has taken action on the brand that sparked the youth vaping epidemic, the agency needs to accelerate progress and act now on the other e-cigarette products that support it by continuing to target youth. The agency should immediately prioritize completing its review of the top brands that make up the majority of the total e-cigarette market and are most popular among young people, including Vuse Alto, Logic, NJOY, Blu and the new came Elf Bar. The FDA must also use its authority to deal with synthetic nicotine through this process so that major disposable brands like Puff Bar can no longer slip through this loophole. The only way to end the “mole swoop” approach to regulation and enforcement is for the FDA to completely remove all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, from the market. Additionally, the FDA should immediately remove all unexamined e-cigarettes, which should have been removed from the market on September 9e2021.
This decision comes at a critical time, as new data shows that each day we wait for the FDA to complete its review, more young people are at risk of lifelong nicotine addiction. Research from the New Truth Initiative shows that nearly 1.5 million young people, including nearly 800,000 teens aged 15 to 18, vaped nicotine for the first time between July 2021 and June 2022the months surrounding and following the FDA failure September 2021 deadline to complete its review of e-cigarettes. This initiation of children into the risks of nicotine addiction and the unknown physical health risks of e-cigarettes is made even more troubling amid the toll of the current mental health crisis on young people and the known link between nicotine and mental health symptoms of depression and anxiety. .
Just as young people deserve to live free from the harms of nicotine addiction, adult smokers deserve products that meet public health standards. A comprehensive FDA review can help determine whether tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes can help adult smokers improve their health outcomes. Truth Initiative supports regulation that encourages the development of consistently less harmful nicotine delivery alternatives that allow smokers to quit completely or switch completely to a much less harmful and well-regulated product. For the many young people who want to quit vaping nicotine, support exists through This is Quitting, a free and anonymous text messaging program from truth® which has enrolled nearly 500,000 young people, providing them with personalized counselling, cognitive and behavioral coping strategies and social support to help them quit smoking. Truth Initiative also offers free digital and community smoking cessation programs for adults through BecomeAnEx.org and its corporate EX program for employers and healthcare providers.ad
Combined with recent proposals to phase out menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels, and today’s new JUULs, the Biden administration is taking historic and refocused steps to put end the tobacco epidemic in our country. The FDA must act quickly to finalize, implement, and enforce its proposed actions to protect youth, help adult smokers, and advance public health equity by ending the leading cause of preventable death and creating a future free from tobacco and nicotine addiction.
About the Truth Initiative®
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping and nicotine and a future where tobacco and nicotine addiction are a thing of the past. In 2020, we celebrated 20 years of saving lives and preventing millions of young people from smoking. Our impact has helped reduce teenage smoking rates from 23% in 2000 to less than 3% in 2021. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry is at the heart of our proven and internationally recognized effectiveness. national scale. truth® popular education campaign. As youth e-cigarette use threatens to put a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction, we are leading the fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction in all its forms. Our rigorous scientific research and policy studies, youth and community engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of smoking, and innovation in tobacco dependence treatment are also helping to end one of the battles of most critical public health issues of our time. Situated at washington d.c., our organization, formerly known as the American Legacy Foundation, was created and funded by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the attorneys general of 46 states, five U.S. territories, and the tobacco industry. To learn more, visit truthinitiative.org.
SOURCE Truth Initiative