New Jersey’s historic law prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes took effect on April 20, 2020. This action is the right move to reverse skyrocketing youth use of e-cigarettes and couldn’t come at a better time as health experts are warning that smoking and vaping can worsen the effects of COVID-19. It’s more critical than ever to keep our lungs healthy. This measure is necessary to prevent e-cigarettes from addicting a new generation of kids and reversing the enormous progress we have made in reducing youth tobacco use.
New Jersey is one of four states that have prohibited the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, along with Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island (Massachusetts prohibited the sale of all flavored tobacco products). The recently passed New York law will be implemented on May 18, 2020. We strongly urge other states to join protecting the health of our kids by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products.
There is no time to waste as the youth e-cigarette epidemic has gone from bad to worse. According to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2019 NYTS), e-cigarette use among high school students nationwide increased to 27.5% in 2019 compared to 11.7% in 2017. Altogether, more than 5.3 million middle and high school students now use e-cigarettes. The evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes have fueled this epidemic – 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month, and 70% cite flavors as the reason for their use.