Senator Schumer urges FDA to ban kid-friendly e-cig flavors

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WKBW) - U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stood with New York kids who say they have become addicted to their e-cigarette, "Juul," to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use a law on the books to immediately ban kid-friendly e-cigarette flavors.

An e-cigarette warning letter to FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb was signed last month by a coalition that includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, which cites their concerns with the kid-friendly flavors.

“The just-out warning letter from America’s top doctors and health groups detailing how this addiction continues its creep into high schools and middle schools is no doubt nails on the chalkboard for teachers and parents alike," Schumer said. "This e-cig nicotine laced liquid could have very serious implications on adolescent development and health. That is why it is high time to ramp up the pressure on and by the FDA so quicker action to rid the marketplace of kid-friendly e-cig flavors is taken."

Schumer said the FDA should use the Tobacco Control Act, which he passed in 2009, to reign in e-cigarettes and control the marketing to adolescents. 

A "Juul," is just a one of many variations of e-cigarettes, but is one of the most popular with kids because it looks similar to a flash drive and can be easily concealed. One "pod" of Juul contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. 

According to the New York State Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Board, New York’s rate of high school students using e-cigarettes, which sits at more than one in five, is higher than the national average.

According to the CDC, most young adult e-cigarette users said they use e-cigarettes flavored to taste like menthol, alcohol, candy, fruit, chocolate, or other sweets.

Last July the FDA decided to hold off on a implementing rule that would have regulated e-cigarettes, today Schumer urged them to move faster citing that a slow-moving process could allow flavored e-cigarettes to remain on the market until 2022. 

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