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Surgeon General: “Youth Vaping is a Public Health Threat”

2016 Surgeon General's Report: E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults

Today U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy released a report titled “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General”. This is the first report to be issued by the Federal Government that comprehensively reviews the public health issue of e-cigarettes and the impact of these products on young people. The report focuses on the history, epidemiology, and health effects of e-cigarette use among youth and young adults; the companies involved with marketing and promoting these products; and existing and proposed public health policies regarding the use of these products by youth and young adults.

In addition to a comprehensive summary of the existing scientific evidence, the report ends with a Call to Action, which presents six goals and related strategies to guide efforts to reduce e-cigarette use among our nation’s young people. To achieve these goals, the report notes that we must work together – including individuals and families; civic and community leaders; public health and health care professionals; e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers; voluntary health agencies; researchers; and other stakeholders – to better understand e-cigarettes and their health consequences for youth and young adults.

It is the position of TFW that electronic cigarettes and vaping devices are “not harmless and too many teens are using them” as validated today by the comments of the Surgeon General. We have much work to do in order to stop the impact of the vaping industry and Big Tobacco on our youth. Will you join us?

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HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HOUSING TO BE SMOKE-FREE

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro today announced that public housing developments in the U.S. will now be required to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents. In an address to local public housing officials, residents and public health professionals in Boston, Secretary Castro said HUD’s new rule will provide resources and support to more than 3,100 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to implement required smoke-free policies over the next 18 months. Read HUD’s final rule.

Throughout this year, HUD worked with PHAs and stakeholders collaboratively to finalize this rule, which prohibits lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. TFW Coalition Coordinator and Leadership Team member, Tara Nolen, attended the White House Convening on HUD’s Proposed Rule for Smoke-Free Public Housing in January of this year, to discuss the proposal with other national stakeholders. HUD’s final rule included input from more than 1,000 comments from PHAs, housing and health partners, and tenant advocates; one of which was submitted on behalf of TFW.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke,” said Secretary Castro. “HUD’s smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities.”

Since 2009, HUD has strongly encouraged PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings and common areas, a policy many private housing developments already have in place. During this time, more than 600 PHAs and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) have adopted smoke-free policies.Through HUD’s voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units are already smoke-free. Once fully implemented, the smoke-free rule announced today would expand the impact to more than 940,000 public housing units, including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly residents and 760,000 children living in public housing.

The City of Wichita Public Housing Authority reported 578 units (352 single-family homes and 226 apartment units), which will be covered by smoke-free housing policies within 18 months. TFW estimates almost 1,000 adults and children will be protected from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke as part of HUD’s new ruling.

PHAs are encouraged to take advantage of the information and resources on HUD’s Healthy Homes website. Updated guidance and training materials will be available in the coming months.

Source: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2016/HUDNo_16-184

FDA Regulations for Sales to Minors in Effect as of August 8

Original story by Dennis Thompson, HealthDay – August 8, 2016, 11:08 AM

The sale of electronic cigarettes to minors are banned nationwide as of this past Monday, August 8, 2016. This mandate is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) long-overdue plan to extend the agency’s regulatory powers over all tobacco products. The new rule ensures electronic cigarettes and any other tobacco product (including hookah, cigars, and pipe tobacco) are not being sold to anyone younger than 18. The regulations also require photo IDs to buy e-cigarettes, and bans retailers from handing out free samples or selling them in all-ages vending machines.

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Although Kansas has prohibited the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors since 2013, the state has not specified hookah as a tobacco product. Likewise, the City of Wichita’s youth access ordinance–which gives authority to the City’s Tobacco program to check retailers for compliance with sales restrictions to minors–includes tobacco products but does not currently allow for compliance checks for electronic cigarette or hookah retailers. TFW is anxious to help ensure these policy gaps are remedied in the near future.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices designed to create an aerosol that delivers nicotine, flavor and other chemicals when inhaled by the user. Manufacturers have marketed the products as a way to help smokers quit cigarettes, although these statements have not been verified by the FDA or trustworthy research studies. In addition to the youth access regulations, the new ruling forbids electronic cigarette manufacturers from promoting their products as a “healthier alternative to smoking”, until strong scientific evidence is provided to the FDA that supports the claim.

Tobacco control and other public health groups contend that electronic cigarettes actually encourage people — especially teens — to pick up the smoking habit. “Youth use e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco product on the market today, serving as an entry point to more traditional tobacco products,” Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in May.

A recent survey of approximately 300 high school students discovered that teens in the United States who use electronic cigarettes are six times more likely to move on to traditional cigarettes compared to kids who never use the devices.  “The increase in electronic cigarette use, which may be followed by increases in cigarette use, could result in an erosion of the progress that has been made over the last several decades in tobacco control,” she added. This increase is amplified by the tobacco industry’s billion-dollar annual advertising budget, which targets ads at youth and other vulnerable populations.

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Until now, electronic cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products have gone unregulated by the FDA. Manufacturers are now required to submit new and existing products to the FDA for review and evaluation, unless the product was sold prior to Feb. 15, 2007. It is estimated that 99% of all electronic cigarette and “vaping” products that are now on the market will have to be submitted for review. The FDA anticipates that existing brands will have at least three more regulation-free years on the market — two of which allows manufacturers to prepare their product application and another year for FDA review.

For the full story, click HERE.

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