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Congressman Pallone Applauds FDA Measures to Provide Oversight of Electronic Cigarettes and Cigar Sales to Minors

August 8, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C - With authority granted through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today will begin exercising greater oversight over electronic cigarettes and cigar sales to young adults. Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06), a co-author of the law, applauded the FDA’s new actions.  

“With data showing prevalent e-cigarette use among youths, I am pleased the FDA is taking decisive action,” said Congressman Pallone.  “The majority of youths are using flavored products, and until now, there was dangerously insufficient regulation and oversight of e-cigarettes. We have an obligation to protect our young people, and we must all share in this responsibility so that the next generation is not burdened by the immense health and economic costs of tobacco.  For far too long, the tobacco industry has exploited loopholes and continued to market its products to children.”

Last year the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing the majority of youth who use tobacco are using flavored products, including e-cigarettes. The data found that in 2014 an estimated 1.58 million middle school and high school students used a flavored e-cigarette, more than any other flavored tobacco product.

In an effort to stem the growth in youth tobacco use seen in recent years, starting today, August 8th, it will now be illegal to sell cigars, hookah tobacco, and electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18, with an ID check required to anyone under the age of 27. Retailers will also not be permitted to give away free samples of newly deemed tobacco products and retailers will not be allowed to sell cigars, hookah tobacco, and e-cigarettes in a vending machine where anyone under age 18 has access at any time.

Additionally, Congressman Pallone announced that the Rutgers School of Public Health was awarded a $519,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to support youth outreach and surveillance on tobacco use. The grant will help make sure the public is aware of changes in youth tobacco use, including the rise of e-cigarettes.