A partial ban on flavored e-cigarettes that went into effect nationwide last week has a major loophole that keeps kid-friendly flavored products on the market, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The Food and Drug Administration policy bans most flavors of cartridge-based e-cigarettes, but doesn’t apply to disposable devices.
Following is a statement from Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation:
“The FDA’s attempt to carve out a place for vape stores to stay in business ended up drawing a crystal clear picture of how to get around the new policy, and our kids are figuring it out pretty quickly. Today, it’s still legal to buy a high-nicotine e-cigarette with a flavor name like ‘O.M.G. Tropical’ as long as it’s a disposable all-in-one device. Already, dozens of low-cost, Juul-like disposable e-cigarettes are on the market. In the midst of a youth vaping epidemic, this loophole isn’t doing any favors for parents trying to keep their kids healthy and tobacco-free.”
The Foundation is asking the Kentucky state legislature to adopt three measures in 2020 to reduce youth e-cigarette use:
• Tobacco 21: A measure to conform Kentucky law to a new federal law that raises to 21 the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products. A bill filed by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, has passed the Senate and is under consideration in the House.
• E-cigarette Tax: A bill to add an excise tax on e-cigarettes that is equal to the tax on cigarettes. Currently, e-cigarettes are the only tobacco product sold in Kentucky that are not subject to an excise tax. Rep. Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, has introduced a bill to tax e-cigs on par with cigarettes.
• Prevention & Cessation Funding: A measure to increase public health funding for tobacco-use prevention education and for Kentucky’s Quit Line and other smoking cessation programs. Kentucky’s 2020 budget of $3.3 million for prevention and cessation is 1/84th of the $280 million spent annually by the tobacco industry marketing their products in the Commonwealth.
The mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity.
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth.
Click here www.healthy-ky.org for more information.
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky