As a nation, we’ve long recognized the need to protect kids from cigarette marketing. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not had oversight over all tobacco products–including over e-cigarettes, which are a newer tobacco product. As a result, youth use of cigars, e-cigarettes and hookah has skyrocketed. But all of that will now change.
Yesterday, we welcomed the release of public health protections – especially for our kids – from all tobacco products. The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products released its long-awaited final rule giving the agency commonsense oversight of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products. How long awaited was it? In the over two years since this regulation was proposed, two million kids tried their first cigar. Now, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth and high school boys smoke cigars at the same rate as cigarettes.
This new rule gives FDA authority over the sales, marketing and manufacturing of all tobacco products. The American Lung Association welcomes this step forward to protect public health. The FDA will finally have basic authority to make science-based decisions that will protect our nation’s youth and the public health from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah. We are also pleased that the FDA followed our recommendation, and is including all cigars, including so-called premium cigars, in the rule.