AFSA Board Passes Resolution on E-Cigarettes and Vaping

AFSA's fall General Executive Board meeting heard from Caroline Goncalves Jones, associate director, advocacy and outreach for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, on national efforts to remove e-cigarettes and vaping products completely from the market.

After the presentation the board passed the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found: “Youth use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe”;

WHEREAS, the CDC has found further that: “If cigarette smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness”;

WHEREAS, the CDC has found further that flavoring tobacco products makes them more appealing to youth, with a 2014 study finding that 73% of high school students and 56% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the past 30 days reported using a flavored tobacco product;

WHEREAS, e-cigarettes and vaping products have been marketed and sold for the past decade as regular cigarette substitutes but have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Quit Smoking Aid or subjected to any rigorous regulatory review;

WHEREAS, the CDC asserts that e-cigarettes and vaping products “can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals, like lead, volatile organic compounds and cancer causing-causing agents”;

WHEREAS, hundreds of people have fallen ill and 12 have died in the past year from a respiratory illness that has been linked to e-cigarette usage;

WHEREAS, e-cigarette and vaping product companies have developed and marketed e-cigarette and vaping products that are flavored and taste like Kool-Aid, Jolly Ranchers and Life Savers that are especially appealing to young people;

WHEREAS, a 2019 survey funded by the National Institutes of Health found that 25% of 12th graders, 20% of 10th graders and 9% of eighth graders vaped nicotine within the past month, rates that are more than double the same survey’s findings two years ago;

WHEREAS, several members of Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA and President Trump have announced a proposal to ban flavored e-cigarettes;

WHEREAS, the states of Michigan, New York, Washington, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have announced bans on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes or, in some cases, bans on the sale of all e-cigarettes;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have decided to end e-cigarette product sales at base exchanges;

WHEREAS, AFSA recognizes the harm to students caused by the youth e-cigarette epidemic and joined in September “Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes,” an initiative sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that AFSA endorses the four central goals of the Protect Kids initiative:

  1. Remove flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products from the marketplace
  2. Ensure e-cigarette and vaping products are subjected to review before they reach the market, and products now on the market are reviewed promptly
  3. End marketing practices that appeal to kids
  4. Stop online e-cigarette and vaping product sales until sales to kids can be prevented; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that AFSA will make implementing these goals a central part of its communications and advocacy strategy, and encourages all of our affiliates to adopt this resolution in their states and localities.