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Surgeon General’s Statement on FDA’s Youth E-cigarette Prevention Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Contact: ASH Media Office
(202) 205-0143
ashmedia@hhs.gov

Preventing use of e-cigs by youth through education about the real dangers of these products is something we can all agree on.  Today, the Office of the Surgeon General applauds the FDA’s efforts to address this challenge head-on with the launch of the “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign.

“Though we’ve made tremendous progress since the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health in 1964, recent data on youth e-cigarette use are alarming. In 2017, 2.1 million middle and high school students currently used e-cigarettes, making them the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. These numbers highlight the urgent need for a targeted campaign to educate youth about the dangers of e-cigarette use, and stop the flood of youth initiation. Today’s launch of the FDA’s new “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign is a critically important effort coming at a pivotal time.

Simply put, no youth should EVER use e-cigarettes.“

This latest effort aims to educate the nearly 10.7 million youth, aged 12-17, who have used e-cigarettes or are open to trying them. Through this campaign youth will understand that using these products puts them at risk for addiction and alterations in brain development because nicotine can rewire adolescent brains to crave more nicotine. In 2016, the Office of the Surgeon General released E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, which found that youth and young adults are uniquely vulnerable to the long-term consequences of exposing the brain to nicotine. The FDA’s important campaign builds on the science compiled in that groundbreaking report.

The Office of the Surgeon General continues to applaud and support the FDA’s ongoing efforts to address youth access to, and use of, e-cigarettes. As part of the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, the agency last week announced a series of critical and historic enforcement actions related to the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids and signaled that the agency intends to take new and significant steps to address this issue. These efforts included issuing warning letters and filing civil money penalty complaints against more than 1,300 retailers who illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarettes to minors.

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