Recently, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced that it denied marketplace orders for 55,000 flavored e-cigarettes from about three different manufacturers. While encouraged by the FDA’s announcement that thousands of flavored e-cigarettes will be removed from the marketplace, it is imperative that ALL flavored tobacco product sales cease.

In New York State, 22.4% of high school students vape and 4.2% smoke cigarettes. Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products will not only help end youth tobacco use, but will also help address the disproportionate impact of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke on Black and Brown communities. The tobacco industry strategically places more advertising in predominantly Black neighborhoods, subsequently leading to nine in 10 Black smokers using menthol cigarettes, which are easier to smoke and harder to quit.

Webster Health and Education Network is a community coalition that collaborates with our partners to delay, decrease, and prevent substance use among youth. Research suggests that the longer youth wait to use drugs and/or alcohol, the less likely it is that they will become addicted.

This recent action by the FDA is a step in the right direction, and we remain vigilant and active in ensuring further protective factors are in place for our community’s young people.

Janine Sanger

Executive Director

Webster Health and Education Network

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