FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  October 12, 2018                                     CONTACT   Liz Voyles, liz@brassrc.com, 202-297-9641

Big City Health Officials to FDA: Restrict Flavors in E-Cigarettes 

Request Comes as FDA Weighs Response to New Evidence of Sharp Rise in Teen Vaping  

Washington, D.C. - In a letter to Scott Gottlieb, MD, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) members of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) urged the agency to use its regulatory authority to restrict flavors in e-cigarettes and vaping products. As a result of the Tobacco Control Act, passed in 2009, FDA restricts most flavors in traditional cigarettes. Public health officials on the ground have seen record growth in e-cigarette use among youth, and the FDA recently announced it is considering whether to restrict flavors in emerging vaping products.

The Big Cities Health Coalition is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 55 million people, or one in six Americans.

“We know that teens are vaping in record numbers, and that these products are harmful to developing brains due to a host of toxic chemicals,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “Local health officials across the country are doing what the FDA has yet to do - limit teen initiation of tobacco by restricting flavors in their communities. Today, we call on the FDA to use their power to ensure every child – no matter where they live – is safe from the dangers presented by flavored tobacco products.”

At least eight of the coalition’s member jurisdictions – Boston, Chicago, Miami (Miami-Dade County), Minneapolis, New York City, Oakland (Alameda County), San Francisco, and San Jose (Santa Clara County) – have enacted local statutes limiting access to flavored tobacco products, including, for the most part, e-cigarettes/vaping products.

Evidence shows that flavored tobacco products have a special appeal to children, and the link between e-cigarette use and teens has recently grown stronger. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes, and teens who vape are more likely to end up smoking. According to media reports, new data shows that teen use of e-cigarettes has jumped dramatically, increasing 75% in just one year. In September, FDA Commissioner Gottlieb referred to the problem as an “epidemic”.

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About the Big Cities Health Coalition

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 55 million people, or one in six Americans. The Big Cities Health Coalition is an independent project of the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). For more information, please visit http://www.bigcitieshealth.org