TRENTON – Senate Health Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vitale issued the following statement on today’s announcement of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s rule extending its authority to all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, hookah and pipe tobacco, among others:
“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the fight against the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
“The dangers of tobacco use are unquestionable. And in recent years, there has been an alarming increase in vaping among youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that kids under 18 have experienced a ten-fold increase in the use of e-cigarettes between 2011 and 2015. This is a major threat to public health and why I have introduced several bills to address this growing problem in New Jersey.
“The proven dangers of nicotine and the carcinogens contained in the vapor serve to illustrate the importance and timeliness of the new FDA rules announced today. Not only will the new rules require producers of vaping devices to register with the FDA and be subject to its scrutiny and rules in the public’s health interest, but they will also help prevent misleading claims by tobacco manufacturers. Additionally, the FDA will evaluate and require companies to disclose ingredients and place appropriate warnings on product packaging and advertisements. This will also allow the FDA to further examine the health risks associated with the newer forms of tobacco products that have become so popular among middle and high schoolers.
“Big tobacco companies have invested millions in e-cigarettes. My concern is that they are seeking to addict a new generation of youth to vaping, for which the long-term effects are yet to be known.
“Our goal should be preventing our youth from picking up the habit so they can lead healthier lives.”