Michigan pediatricians believe the passage of the Youth Tobacco Act, signed today by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer does not go far enough to curb youth electronic cigarette use.
“We are disappointed that this legislation puts electronic cigarettes into a separate class from other tobacco and nicotine products, given the highly addictive properties and other adverse health effects.” says Jared Burkhart, Executive Director, Michigan Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MIAAP), “However, Gov. Whitmer’s action is encouraging. We urge all elected officials to strengthen the new law by banning vape flavors, subjecting vape products to our clean air laws, and taxing all nicotine delivery products in an equitable way. Electronic cigarettes and the associated nicotine addiction open a direct path to other forms of nicotine use, such as cigarettes, and should be regulated as strictly as other tobacco products.”
Gov. Whitmer signed SB106 and HB 155 which will take effect in 90 days.
“We are urging the Legislature to continue its work on this issue, starting with classification as a tobacco product, consistent with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC).” explains Dr. Sharon Swindell, President, MIAAP. “E-cigarettes have become the most common nicotine product used by youth and, as a consequence, we have a new generation of youth addicted to nicotine—many of whom will go on to be cigarette smokers.”
A 2018 survey showed 21 percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle school students used e-cigarettes, a dramatic increase in just one year. Federal regulation ban e-cigarette sales to people under age 18. Aggressive marketing campaign by e-cigarette manufacturers, many of which are owned by tobacco companies – entice young smokers with flavorings and advertising that appeals to youth.
Adolescents and young adults ages 14-30 who have used e-cigarettes are 3.6 times more likely to report using convention cigarettes later, according to recent studies.
MIAAP is a nonprofit, professional organization of more than 1,400 Michigan pediatricians, dedicated to the optimal physical, mental and social health for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.