WASHINGTON — For the first time ever, a national study found e-cigarette use among teens exceeds traditional cigarette smoking.
The study, “Monitoring the Future,” also found that e-cigarette use among eighth and 10th-graders was double that of traditional cigarette smoking.
The study highlights the urgent need for the Obama Administration to finalize its proposed regulation that would give the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products authority over e-cigarettes and other unregulated tobacco products. Currently, no e-cigarettes are under FDA’s authority.
“For years, the American Lung Association has sounded the warning bell about e-cigarette use among youth,” American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer said in a press release. “The Monitoring the Future results clearly show that the FDA must act now to regulate e-cigarettes to protect America’s children from nicotine addiction.”
The findings, which come from the University of Michigan’s Survey for Research Center and are funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, asked eighth, 10th- and 12th-graders if they had used either an e-cigarette or a traditional cigarette in the past 30 days. The survey found 9 percent of eighth-graders, 16 percent of 10th-graders and 17 percent of 12th-graders used e-cigarettes. Four percent of eighth-graders, 7 percent among 10th-graders and 14 percent of 12th-graders reported using a traditional cigarette during that time period.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), which became law in 2009, gave FDA immediate authority over cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The Tobacco Control Act also gave FDA the ability to then assert authority or “deem” jurisdiction over all other tobacco products, including cigars, e-cigarettes, hookah and pipe tobacco — the next generation of tobacco products that are being used to target kids. In April, the FDA released its proposed regulation and in August, the American Lung Association filed its own comments as well as joint comments with partners.
For information about the American Lung Association, call 1-800-586-4872 or visit www.lung.org.