Recent news surrounding e-cigarette-related illnesses and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order banning flavored e-cigarettes — with the exception of menthol products — provides an opportunity for the North Country Healthy Heart Network’s Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY program to boost awareness of the broader public health crisis caused by these harmful products.
New York State bans flavored e-cigarettes, except for menthol
Gov. Cuomo’s executive order banning flavored e-cigarettes is a huge step forward in addressing the epidemic of youth nicotine addiction. We’re still concerned about the increasing popularity of menthol among youth, however, as these products are easier to start and harder to quit.
The statistics are alarming. The number of high school e-cigarette users nationwide has increased to 63.9% in 2019 — up from 42.3% in 2017 and 51.2% in 2018. Just as alarming is a study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology that links the use of e-cigarette flavors of menthol and cinnamon to increased heart disease.
Tobacco industry lies, misleads
The tobacco industry will counter that their target audience is adults, not youth, and that e-cigarettes are a safe solution to traditional smoking. Both of these claims are false.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 5.4% of adults use e-cigarettes, while 27% of youth use them. In New York State alone, nearly 40% of high school seniors use e-cigarettes.
As it pertains to e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to traditional smoking, the Food and Drug Administration has made it clear that they are not an approved cessation device and there’s no evidence that they’re safe. The FDA has approved seven other methods to treat nicotine addiction.
The Heart Network does not engage in direct advocacy, but we do offer resources to people looking to quit and will continue to share information about the harmful effects of smoking, for both combustible and electronic delivery. To learn more, contact us at (518) 891-5855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.