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The FDA is making a series of new enforcement and regulatory steps to crack down on JUUL e-cigarettes, which is big for Latinos who are increasingly using e-cigs.
JUUL e-cigs resemble a USB flash drive and come in flavors very popular among young people. A single JUUL cartridge is equal to about a pack of cigarettes, or 200 cigarette puffs.
- A national undercover blitz to crack down on the sale of e-cigs–specifically JUUL products–to minors at both brick-and-mortar and online retailers.
- Contacted eBay to raise concerns over several listings for JUUL products on its website.
- Contacted JUUL manufacturers directly to submit product marketing and research information to better understand the health implications and youth appeal.
- Considering extra enforcement actions on companies that market to mislead kids.
- Continue investing in science-based campaigns to educate youth on the dangers of all tobacco products, including e-cigs.
“The youth-focused steps we’re taking are consistent with our responsibility to protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death, and I intend to do everything within my power to fulfill that duty,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, in a statement.
What do these regulations mean for Latinos? Is this action enough?
Latinos, Smoking, and E-Cigs
Fewer Latino young adults smoke than their white peers (25% vs. 37%), but certain Latino heritage groups smoke more than others. Latino young adult also have higher intermittent cigarette use (75.9%) than their white peers (47.2%).
Latinos are increasingly using e-cigarettes, too, according to American Heart Association News.
Using e-cigarettes has been shown to increase the likelihood of smoking cigarettes among young people, according to this research.
“Easy access to these products, the appeal of flavored tobacco products’ taste and smell, minimal restrictions on public use, and use while socializing were cited as reasons contributing to these products desirability” among Latinos.
Is FDA Action Enough?
The FDA should do more about e-cigs.
That’s according to a joint statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Truth Initiative.
“While a positive step forward, today’s action does not address one of the most important actions the FDA can take to protect youth, whic
h is to enforce existing law and the FDA’s existing rules prohibiting the introduction of new or changed tobacco products–including e-cigarettes–without prior FDA review and authorization,” according to the statement.
The groups say that, without FDA review, mango and cool cucumber-flavored Juul products should never have been allowed for sale and their current sale is illegal.
The groups also wants FDA to reverse its decision to allows e-cigs that were on the market as of Aug. 8, 2016, to stay on the market until at least 2022 without undergoing FDA review.
“Leading public health and medical organizations filed suit last month challenging the FDA’s delay, arguing it is unlawful and harms public health by leaving on the market products that appeal to youth,” according to the statement.
How You Can Get Involved
- See what your state is doing about tobacco
- Apply for tobacco-free grants for minority-serving institutions
- Check out the work of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Truth Initiative.
- See what Dr. Steve Kelder of the UTHealth School of Public Health had to say about JUUL vaping devices in the Spectrum news TV interview.
- Check out this JUUL Infographic from the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living (@MSDCenter).