April 25, 2018

Udall Fights to Protect Kids from E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTONU.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the budget for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is taking action to protect kids from the potential dangers of e-cigarettes, which remain largely unregulated and are marketed in ways that are appealing to young people.

Yesterday, the FDA announced new enforcement actions to combat the use of and access to e-cigarettes – like those sold by JUUL Labs, Inc. – among young people. The FDA’s announcement comes after Udall and a group of 10 senators pressed for a crack-down on the blatant and widespread efforts to market and sell e-cigarettes to youth. Earlier this month, Udall and the senators wrote to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb calling for swift action to ban candy and fruit flavorings used with e-cigarettes that are appealing to children. In addition, Udall and the senators demanded answers from JUUL about how the e-cigarette company markets its products to children.

In a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Udall pressed Gottlieb about the steps the FDA is taking to better protect kids and communities from the possible hazards associated with e-cigarettes. Video of Udall’s questioning is available HERE.

Udall issued the following statement:

“I join families across New Mexico and the United States who are deeply concerned about the skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes among young people. We’ve made great strides in reducing youth tobacco use – but these gains are in jeopardy because of the rise of e-cigarettes and other non-cigarette tobacco products, which are blatantly being marketed to young people. The FDA has acknowledged that 81 percent of kids who have used tobacco products started by using a flavored product.

“In response to the efforts of myself and a group of my Senate colleagues, the FDA has taken positive first steps to safeguard our children from the insidious tactics that are being used to market these products to young people. I appreciate those initial steps, but we need to do much more to protect New Mexico’s kids and the public from the potential hazards of tobacco products; and we must continue to demand transparency from the FDA and manufacturers about any dangers involved with the exposure to second-hand vapor from e-cigarettes. I’ll keep fighting to ensure that we’re taking the necessary action across our government to protect public health and promote healthy families and communities.”