AUGUSTA, Maine - Today, Gov. Janet Mills announced that the Maine Centers for Disease Control will launch a public education campaign to combat the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The Governor also announced her intention to introduce legislation to fully implement the law which sets the legal age of sale for tobacco products to 21 as soon as possible by eliminating what is known as the “grandfathering” provision.
The following can be attributed to Hilary Schneider, Maine director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“The numbers don’t lie: youth e-cigarette use here in Maine is at a crisis level, requiring urgent action to fully protect our kids from a lifetime of addiction to all tobacco products. Gov. Mill’s commitment to tackling this epidemic through a public education campaign will undoubtedly be a critical component of ensuring our kids know the truth about Big Tobacco and the dangers of e-cigarette use.
“Maine kids have a target on their back, and the tobacco industry put it there. Fortunately, we know how lawmakers can help protect them from the dangers of all tobacco products: taken together, increasing the state’s cigarette excise tax by $1.50 per pack, sustainably and adequately funding statewide tobacco prevention and cessation efforts, and prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes, would help disarm Big Tobacco and protect Maine kids from falling prey to the tobacco industry’s continued targeting.
“By advocating for evidence-based tobacco control policies, we can make a significant dent in e-cigarette and tobacco use rates among all Mainers. We applaud Gov. Mills for her commitment to fighting the e-cigarette epidemic and urge lawmakers to follow suit.”