Congressional committees bring urgent attention to youth tobacco epidemic

Hearings held as 250 American Heart Association volunteers urge Congress to remove flavored tobacco products from the market

News Release, American Heart Association

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2019 — With congressional hearings about the health threats of electronic cigarettes taking place today in both the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related AgenciesAmerican Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement:

“We commend lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for calling attention to the growing epidemic of tobacco use among youth. The crisis is driven by electronic cigarette companies that market more than 15,000 fruit, candy and mint flavors to kids, resulting in 97 percent of current youth e-cigarette users preferring flavored products.

Flavors attract kids to tobacco use. That’s why the Trump administration announced last month that it would ‘clear the market’ of flavored e-cigarettes. With more than 1 in 4 high-school students now using e-cigarettes and a generation at risk for a lifetime of nicotine addiction, we urge the administration to move forward and remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market without delay, and we ask lawmakers to pass comprehensive legislation to keep all flavored tobacco products out of the hands of our nation’s children.

This week on Capitol Hill, 250 cardiovascular disease patients, survivors, caregivers, researchers and others who are part of the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure grassroots network are in Washington, D.C. to ask lawmakers to remove flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and menthol cigarettes, from the market.

Both Congress and the administration should act with urgency in the interest of our children’s health.”

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