The Oregon Public Health Division (OPHD) announced its support Thursday of the FDA’s move to reduce the accessibility of e-cigarettes and vape products, such as JUUL, to youth. The FDA called e-cigarette use among youth an “epidemic” that requires “historic action.”
The FDA is taking action against retailers and manufacturers that illegally market and sell addictive products to youth. This is the largest coordinated enforcement effort in FDA’s history and aligns with the seriousness of tobacco as a public health issue.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes that tobacco remains sweet, cheap and easy to get in Oregon. E-cigarettes are the most popular tobacco products used among Oregon youth, with 13 percent of Oregon 11th-graders reporting e-cigarette use in 2017. These products are available in thousands of flavors with kid-friendly names and packaging.
Even though youth younger than 21 can’t legally purchase tobacco in Oregon, retailers continue to sell tobacco products to underage buyers. In a report the OPHD released in July 2018, 22 percent of inspected retailers were found to have illegally sold e-cigarettes to youth inspectors younger than 21.
It is the largest coordinated enforcement effort in FDA’s history and aligns with the seriousness of tobacco as a public health issue. The OPHA said it will continue to monitor FDA’s actions, support its efforts, and continue its own initiatives to reduce the health and financial toll of tobacco in Oregon.