Statement: Proposal to take flavored vaping products off market a crucial tactic to stop youth epidemic

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG

Key plank of U.S. PIRG’s “End the Nicotine Trap” campaign could be implemented


WASHINGTON — In response to growing concerns about the health threats of vaping and its skyrocketing use among youth, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that the Food and Drug Administration is preparing to finalize guidance to take all flavored e-cigarette products, other than those flavored as tobacco, off the market. Public health advocates have pointed to flavored vaping products as a primary driver for attracting and hooking young people. 


Last year, vaping among high school students increased by nearly 80 percent, with one in five students using e-cigarettes. Today’s announcement comes after preliminary data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey showed a further increase in youth vaping in 2019, with more than a quarter of high school students reporting e-cigarette use in the past 30 days. 


Matthew Wellington, U.S. PIRG’s End the Nicotine Trap campaign director, released the following statement:

“Youth vaping at its core is unsafe and banning flavors would reduce the appeal of these products to young people, saving them from a potentially life-long struggle with nicotine addiction. It would be a major step forward, and we urge the Food and Drug Administration to move quickly to accomplish it.” 

“The U.S. Surgeon General rightfully calls youth vaping an epidemic because nicotine use in adolescence can disrupt brain development, contribute to mood disorders, and increase the risk of future addiction to other dangerous substances. Research also suggests that young people who use e-cigarettes are three times more likely to start smoking combustible cigarettes. 


“It’s critical that the FDA’s plans include a complete prohibition on all flavored e-cigarette products, other than tobacco, to truly tear out the roots of the youth vaping growth.” 


U.S. PIRG is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations that stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.