On July 24, the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy began two days of hearings to examine JUUL’s role in the ongoing youth tobacco epidemic.
The committee is examining JUUL’s role in the epidemic, its appeal to youth, its marketing practices and health claims, and its relationship to tobacco companies. Witnesses from the public health and patient advocacy community, along with parents of children who use e-cigarettes will provide testimony before the committee.
The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“By examining the behaviors and marketing practices of the tobacco industry, which are responsible for the current youth e-cigarette epidemic, Congress continues to dedicate critical attention to this national health crisis. JUUL, with significant investment from Altria, has a clear interest in finding ways to addict a new generation to its products.
“Without regulation, the e-cigarette industry has had unfettered ability to aggressively market flavored tobacco products that are popular with youth. According to the most recent data available, among teens who have ever tried an e-cigarette, 96% used a flavored product for their first time, and among current teen e-cigarette users 97% regularly use a flavored product.
“The tobacco industry cannot and should not be trusted and our kids deserve better from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is beyond time the FDA moves to fulfill its full statutory and court-ordered obligations by conducting a comprehensive review of all deemed tobacco products on the market. By law these products are not supposed to be available to consumers without such scrutiny. Comprehensive and immediate FDA review, coupled with a restriction of flavored tobacco products that have not undergone the required premarket review, are the two most significant steps the FDA can take to reverse the alarming trend of youth use of e-cigarettes and prevent initiation of use of other tobacco products.”