Senator Markey Praises Surgeon General’s Findings on the Dangers of E-Cigarettes
Washington (December 8, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today praised the release of a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General on the alarmingly high rate of e-cigarette use, especially among America’s youth. The report, the first comprehensive federal review of the dangers of e-cigarette use among American youth and young adults, found that one in six high school students used an e-cigarette in a 30-day period in 2015. It detailed the specific risks that young people are susceptible to, including nicotine’s effect on developing brains.
“I commend the Surgeon General for this comprehensive report on the dangers of e-cigarette use and call to action to fight this growing threat to our nation’s health,” said Senator Markey. “When the tobacco industry saw a decline in traditional cigarette use, it turned its attention to the promotion of e-cigarettes, taking a page from its own playbook and setting its sights on hooking the youngest in our country. There is a belief that exists, especially with young people, that e-cigarettes are not harmful, and that’s simply not true. Like all tobacco products, e-cigarettes pose a serious health risk, and we must keep these dangerous products out of the hands of children and teenagers. I thank the Surgeon General for taking this important step to raise awareness and outline a plan of action to help protect the health and well-being of our nation’s youth.”
Last year, Senators Markey, Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act, legislation to prohibit the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teens.
In 2014, Senator Markey and lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives released a report that showed a dramatic increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes, with extensive resources being dedicated to social media, sponsorship of youth-oriented events, and television and radio advertisements that reach substantial youth audiences. The report, “Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing to Youth,” was the first comprehensive investigation of e-cigarette marketing tactics.