State legislators fail to protect kids from tobacco, while FDA steps up

State legislators in Colorado and Maine considered bills this session that would have ended the sale of all flavored tobacco products. 4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. Whether it’s e-cigarettes or cigars, young people consistently cite appealing flavors as a primary reason for using tobacco products.

Unfortunately, both states failed to pass the bills despite overwhelming public support, and engagement from parents, school officials and doctors in favor of the measures. 

While state legislators failed this year to take on the tobacco industry’s efforts to target kids, the Food and Drug Administration stepped up to the plate. The agency recently announced proposed rules that would end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, would help reduce youth uptake of tobacco products that lead to a lifetime of addiction, disease, and even death. We hope the FDA moves quickly to finalize the rules. 

Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG


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