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Attorney General Josh Stein Co-Leads Bipartisan Coalition Calling for FDA Action on E-Cigarettes

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Contact:
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today co-led a coalition of 31 attorneys general urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help stop the surge of young people getting addicted to nicotine by eliminating flavors in e-cigarette and oral nicotine products that appeal to young people, limiting the amount of nicotine in products, and restricting marketing. Attorney General Stein is co-leading today’s letter to the FDA with the Attorneys General of Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, and Tennessee.

“I am doing everything in my power to protect North Carolina’s young people from nicotine addiction, including our recent win against Juul that secured major business changes,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “But this problem is larger than any one company, and we need the FDA to step up and rein in the practices of the e-cigarette industry that hook our youth.”

E-cigarettes and oral nicotine products have not received marketing authorization from the FDA, as required by federal law, but people can still buy them because the FDA has not removed them from the market. The FDA is expected to decide whether these products should be allowed to remain on the market starting on Sept. 9, 2021. The attorneys general are urging the FDA to deny all marketing applications for products containing high levels of nicotine and for products containing menthol or other flavors, including candy, mint, and fruit, which are responsible for attracting young people to e-cigarettes.

2020 data shows that 19.6 percent of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, with 38.9 percent of those reporting e-cigarette use on 20 or more days of the past 30 days, and 22.5 percent reporting daily use. The nicotine in these products has harmful effects on the developing brain, leads to addiction, and causes mental health and behavioral challenges.

Attorney General Stein has been leading the fight to prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to nicotine. He filed the first state lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer Juul in May 2019 for aggressively marketing their products to young people and misrepresenting the dangers of the nicotine in e-cigarettes. As a result of his lawsuit, North Carolina was the first state to secure a consent judgment against Juul that requires major changes to its business practices and a $40 million payment to address teen addiction. Earlier this month, he testified about the dangers of false and misleading marketing before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and asked the federal government to take action.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending today’s letter by the Attorneys General of Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter is available here.

More on Attorney General Stein’s work to protect young people from e-cigarette products:

 

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