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New Youth Data Highlights Urgent Need for FDA to Take Action on Unregulated Tobacco Products

April 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 14, 2016 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data from its National Youth Tobacco Survey today that found 4.7 million middle and high school students used tobacco products in 2015. E-cigarettes remained popular among teens and were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle school (5.3 percent) and high school (16 percent) students. The data also showed teen use of more traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco did not change between 2014 and 2015.

A statement from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) about the survey results follows:

The CDC data reveals several troubling trends about youth tobacco use and underscores the crucial need for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate all tobacco products. The disappointing figures show that the rate of tobacco use among middle and high school students remains stalled, that large numbers of youth tobacco users regularly use multiple tobacco products, and that use of e-cigarettes, especially among middle schoolers in particular, is rapidly rising.

The CDC 's disconcerting findings come one day after Congress included language in a U.S. House appropriations bill that would significantly limit the FDA 's ability to protect youth from cigars and other unregulated tobacco products. The language is a maneuver to exempt cigars, including inexpensive and flavored cigars popular with youth, from FDA oversight. The maneuver could also block the regulation of a substantial number of other increasingly popular tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and hookah, unless the cigar industry gets the exemption it wants.

In order to protect the health and safety of our nation, no tobacco product should be exempt from regulation. Each passing day without meaningful FDA regulation enables the industry to continue using its tactics to addict kids to their deadly tobacco products. The administration should act immediately to finalize a rule granting FDA the authority to regulate all tobacco products and Congress should not undermine efforts by the FDA to rein in the unfettered access of tobacco companies to peddle their addictive products to youth.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.ξACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visitξwww.fightcancer.org.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Jill Courtney or Alissa Crispino

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Phone: (202) 585-3278 or (202) 661-5772

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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