[NYPT Fall 2018]

By Lucille Vitale, Legislation Coordinator

On September 12, 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb spoke on new steps to combat the e-cigarette epidemic. Calling a surge in teen use of e-cigarettes an ‘epidemic’, Commissioner Gottlieb said he is considering pulling all flavored e-cigarettes from the US market.

Gottlieb stated, “We need a regulatory process that requires product applications to show that the marketing of the product is appropriate for the protection of the health of the overall population. And we need a regulatory process that keeps these same electronic cigarette products out of the hands of youth”. Additionally, Gottlieb stated, “We didn’t predict what I now believe is an epidemic of e-cigarette use among teenagers”.

Commissioner Gottlieb announced a number of steps the agency planned to take as part of a broader crackdown on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids. The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies that it says have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids. “We cannot allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine,” he said.

Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes offer flavors that appeal to minors, including candy, bubble gum and fruit flavors. The FDA said more than 2 million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2017.

NYS PTA has a position on e-cigarettes. Our resolution, entitled “Electronic Cigarettes and Youth,” asks to: 1. Urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue regulations that will address the manufacturing, ingredients, advertising, marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes; 2. Seek and support legislation that would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in public places; 3. Urge units and councils to educate youth, parents, school boards and local officials on the dangers of e-cigarettes.

National PTA also has a resolution on electronic cigarettes.

These resolutions are something we can All Advocate On….to the FDA and to our legislators. We must all continue the effort to stop the e-cigarette epidemic from continuing and hurting our kids.

Read Commissioner Gottlieb’s full statement HERE.

At the upcoming NYS PTA 122nd Annual Convention, November 9-11 in Saratoga Springs, we will be addressing important retentions, updates, one rescission, and one new resolution. The new resolution, entitled “Raising the Minimum Sales Age of Tobacco and other Nicotine Delivery Systems to 21,” is looking for your advocacy efforts to raise the age for buying tobacco, including e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), to 21 years old, across the state. Let your voice be heard at Convention. Join in on this legislative process and be part of the vote!

Look out for our new advocacy section entitled “Spotlight on Advocacy” which will be a part of the NYS PTA Connection member emails. This advocacy piece will be featured in every issue and highlight legislation in each area of our advocacy efforts: education, family engagement, resolutions and wellness. Advocacy Team members will contribute informative legislation articles based on each member’s area of expertise.