TFL Issues Statement on FDA Approval of E-Cigarette Device
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) are disheartened by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve the electronic cigarette created by tobacco company R.J. Reynolds. While we appreciate that the FDA is continuing to ensure all new tobacco products undergo the agency’s robust, scientific premarket evaluation, the fact that an e-cigarette product gained approval is concerning.
E-cigarettes have gained popularity with youth since their inception, creating a new generation of smokers who would not have previously used commercial tobacco. Previous data indicates e-cigarettes is the most common tobacco product used among all middle and high school students across most racial and ethnic groups; three in 10 LGBTQ+ youth currently vape with more than half of them having tried e-cigarettes.
Another concerning factor is that the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that approximately 10 percent of high school students who used vape products identified the R.J. Reynold product as the brand they use. With limited access to other e-cigarette products, we worry that young smokers will specifically seek out this product. We urge the FDA to monitor the sales of this product and continue the ban on all flavored tobacco products to prevent the initiation of tobacco use among young people.
While the product has been promoted as a cessation device, it has not been approved by the FDA for cessation. TFL offers cessation support for those interested in starting their quit journey through the Quit With Us, LA program. Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669) or visiting QuitWithUsLA.org.
Earl N. Benjamin-Robinson, DrHSc, CPH
Tobacco Control & Prevention and
Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living