U.S. Calls for Stronger Disposable Regulation

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U.S. Calls for Stronger Disposable Regulation
33 state attorneys general in the US are focusing on disposable e-cigarettes as the next major threat to children and adolescent health.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice in the state of Michigan, 33 state attorneys general in the United States are turning their attention to disposable e-cigarettes, considering them as the next major concern for the health of children and teenagers.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, along with 33 bipartisan allies in a coalition of state attorneys general, unitedly call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to enhance protection for minors against the perils of e-cigarettes.


Nessel proposes restricting flavors that appeal to teenagers, lowering nicotine content to prevent addiction, and protecting young people from the influence of marketing activities.


Nessel stated that the use of nicotine among young people has reached a level of popularity. Strong tobacco regulations are needed to protect teenagers from the dangers of e-cigarettes and their marketing strategies, which often make these products appealing with flavors resembling fruits and candies. Action must be taken to regulate youth exposure to these products and enforce strict penalties for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who violate the law.


There are currently over 9,000 types of e-cigarette devices available for sale in the United States, with nearly 6,000 of them being disposable devices. According to CDC statistics, in 2022, 14% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes. The nicotine intake among teenagers is associated with nicotine poisoning, mental health and behavioral issues, academic problems, and potential future addiction to other substances.


In a letter submitted to the FDA, state attorneys general have responded to the Tobacco Center's five-year strategic plan by urging the FDA to establish safeguards against youth nicotine addiction through e-cigarettes.


33 state attorneys general have recommended the FDA to:


  • Ban all non-tobacco flavors in e-cigarettes as they are the main reason for adolescent experimentation with these devices, mimicking fruits, candies, and desserts. 
  • Implement evidence-based nicotine restrictions. Over 80% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine concentrations exceeding 5%. Additionally, due to the ability of certain devices to deliver hundreds or even thousands of puffs, young people are consuming far more nicotine than combustible tobacco. 
  • Restrict marketing activities that appeal to teenagers, ensuring promotional materials do not target them and preventing adolescents from being bombarded with e-cigarette advertisements. E-cigarette manufacturers have consistently utilized social media and influencer marketing to attract young people. 
  • Address the "disposable loophole." Disposable e-cigarettes are not regulated under existing FDA enforcement guidance like cartridge-based e-cigarettes, yet their popularity is skyrocketing. Last year, over half of adolescent e-cigarette users reported using disposable e-cigarettes.


The Attorneys General are also urging the FDA to take immediate enforcement action against the companies and sellers throughout the entire e-cigarette supply chain that are in violation of federal regulations.


The letter was signed by the Attorney General of the United States, along with attorneys general from various states and territories including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.


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