AUGUSTA, ME, June 26, 2023 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new data that confirm what many parents, teachers, tobacco control advocates and organizations already suspected – the use of e-cigarettes continues to surge, especially among youth and young adults who are attracted to these devices because of the thousands of kid-friendly flavors available.
The CDC data reveal that e-cigarette sales jumped nearly 47% between January 2020 and December 2022; and that when asked about their usage in the last 30 days, 14% of high school students and 11% of young adults responded they had used e-cigarettes, compared to less than 5% of adults. Nearly 18% of Maine high school students use e-cigarettes.
Kid-friendly flavors – from minty menthol to fruit to sweets – lure our youngest generation into a lifetime of tobacco use and nicotine addiction, and their products of choice are e-cigarettes because they offer all kinds of appealing flavors. “By voting to eliminate all flavored tobacco products from the marketplace, Maine lawmakers have the opportunity to be on the right side of science and to help put an end to this deadly cycle,” explained Allyson Perron Drag, Maine’s Government Relations Director a global force for longer, healthier lives.
Flavored products make it easier to start and harder to quit. In fact, in a separate analysis, the CDC reported that among youth who used e-cigarettes, 85% used flavored ones. The most popular flavors were fruit, candy, dessert, sweets, mint and menthol. Flavored tobacco products are especially enticing because they mask the harshness of the inhaled smoke of combustible cigarettes and cigars and the inhaled aerosols of e-cigarettes. Additionally, people who use flavored tobacco products often experience even stronger addictions because they can inhale them more deeply and may use them more frequently.
“Eliminating the sale of flavored tobacco products helps prevent our youngest generations from ever picking up a cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette or cannister of chew,” said Perron Drag. “We are hopeful that Maine will be a national leader by eliminating all flavored tobacco and nicotine products from the marketplace.”
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