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Schumer, Students Speak Out Against E-Cigs In Westchester

One “pod” of JUUL contains the amount of nicotine equal to an entire pack of conventional cigarettes. The e-cig is a popular sales item at many area gas stations and delis. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Local stores are selling e-cigarettes at an increased rate. Photo Credit: File
Some of the 'juices' used in E-Cigarettes. Photo Credit: File

According to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and teenagers who say they've become addicted to electronic cigarettes, Juul is no gem.

Standing alongside New York kids who say they are now hooked on the e-cig, “Juul,” Schumer is demanding the feds, particularly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), use a law on the books to immediately reign in and ban the kid-friendly e-cig flavors, that Schumer and others say are helping to fuel e-cig addiction among adolescents.

The new and unprecedented e-cig warning letter to U.S. FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb was signed last month by a broad coalition that includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Lung Association among others.

“The craze among kids for e-cig flavors that resemble whipped cream, candy and cookies is not only a bad trend, but it is a recipe for disaster that is fueling an outright addiction that appears to be getting worse, not better,” Schumer said. “The just-out warning letter from America’s top doctors and health groups detailing how this addiction continues its creep into high schools and middle schools is no doubt nails on the chalkboard for teachers and parents alike. This e-cig nicotine laced liquid could have very serious implications on adolescent development and health. That is why it is high time to ramp up the pressure on and by the FDA so quicker action to rid the marketplace of kid-friendly e-cig flavors is taken. While the FDA has thankfully begun to move on this epidemic, those actions are slower moving compared to the wildfire spread of e-cig use among kids, and we need to catch up. New York kids are in a flavor trap and it’s becoming a real epidemic now.”

Schumer said the current law on the books that the FDA should use to reign in e-cigs and curtail marketing to kids begins with the Tobacco Control Act that Schumer pushed and passed in 2009. That law now provides the FDA with authority over e-cigs.

One of the e-cig brands most popular among youth, and the one kids standing with Schumer will admit addiction to is “Juul.” Juul is just one variation of e-cig, although it is the among the market leaders in the youth demographic -- with flavored liquid.

The device, like its product counterparts, comes in a variety of flavors and can be easily concealed by kids in the classroom because it looks identical to a USB flash drive; it can even be charged in school or at home on a laptop, One “pod” of JUUL contains the amount of nicotine equal to an entire pack of conventional cigarettes.

According to the New York State Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Board, more than one in five New York high school students used e-cigarettes in the last year and New York’s rate is higher than the national average.

Schumer said that a slow moving FDA process to fully regulate e-cigs and curtail kid-friendly flavors could allow flavored e-cigarettes to remain on the market until at least 2022.

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