Proposed Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products in Guam

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Proposed Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products in Guam
A proposed ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products in Guam has garnered support and opposition.

According to postguam's report on February 5th, legislators listened to extensive testimonies regarding the proposal to ban flavored tobacco products in Guam during Friday's public hearing.


Despite support from health professionals and organizations, some individuals have put forth suggestions for amendments. Meanwhile, the proposal has also faced strong opposition from individuals who use e-cigarette devices, shop owners, and other stakeholders. They advocate for a more targeted approach to enforcement, rather than outright banning sales, including holding adults responsible for supplying e-cigarette products to minors.


The 229-37 Bill, aimed at banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in Guam, is one of several proposed measures targeting the reduction of youth smoking or e-cigarette use. The proposal was initially introduced by Senator Thomas Fisher in early last year, originally known as the 50-37 Bill. Subsequently, the bill was withdrawn and resubmitted as the 229-37 Bill earlier this year, following modifications suggested by the American Cancer Society.


The current legislation clearly defines flavored tobacco products and prohibits the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, without exception. According to Alex Welsh, Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, any product that has already obtained market authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be exempted.


Dr. Annette Davis, Chairperson of the Guam State Epidemiology Outcomes Task Force, has voiced her concern over the "alarming" increase in teenage smoking, particularly the use of e-cigarettes and other smoking devices.


Dr. David states, "Flavored tobacco products are the preferred choice for the majority of our youngest tobacco users, whether they smoke, chew, or use e-cigarettes. A study has found that if e-cigarettes are flavored with mint, candy, or fruit, the likelihood of adolescents experimenting with them increases four to six times. Moreover, novice smokers who prefer mint-flavored tobacco products are more likely to become addicted to nicotine and transition to regular tobacco use later in life.


However, some individuals who oppose the 229 bill argue that e-cigarettes have helped them quit their dependence on traditional cigarettes or tobacco. They further point out that a ban may only lead people to revert back to using other products, ultimately resulting in a loss of tax revenue for the Guam government and economic harm.


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