New Jersey ban on sale of all flavored e-cigarettes takes effect

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Image by Sarah J. from Pixabay 
Urban News Staff Reports

New Jersey's  law prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes takes effect this week. Advocates say the action is the right move to reverse skyrocketing youth use of e-cigarettes and couldn't come at a better time as health experts are warning that smoking and vaping can worsen the effects of COVID-19. 

Health experts believe the measure is necessary to prevent e-cigarettes from addicting a new generation of kids and reversing the progress made in reducing youth tobacco use.

New Jersey is one of four states that have prohibited the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, along with Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island (Massachusetts prohibited the sale of all flavored tobacco products). The recently passed New York law will be implemented May 18. 

"We strongly urge other states to join protecting the health of our kids by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products," the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement. "There is no time to waste as the youth e-cigarette epidemic has gone from bad to worse."

According to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2019 NYTS), e-cigarette use among high school students nationwide increased to 27.5% in 2019 compared to 11.7% in 2017. Altogether, more than 5.3 million middle and high school students now use e-cigarettes. The evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes have fueled this epidemic – 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month, and 70% cite flavors as the reason for their use.

In a statement released, e-cigarette company JUUL, which is the most popular e-cigarette on the market, said its doing its part to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of kids.

"JUUL Labs has been conducting and supporting nonclinical, clinical, and behavioral research examining the public health impact of JUUL products and is committed to working cooperatively with regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to preserve the historic opportunity to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes, while combatting underage use," the company said.

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