Transition Plan for Healthy Children
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must take aggressive action to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic and work toward ending youth tobacco use altogether. Youth e-cigarette use decreased in 2020 after a huge spike in 2019, but among youth who do use, the rate of frequent use is only increasing. States have made progress in instituting tobacco control measures, but the federal government has not taken sufficient action to protect children.
Prohibit all flavored tobacco products. The FDA should issue a regulation creating a tobacco product standard that prohibits all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and all flavored e-cigarettes, because of their impact on youth tobacco use initiation.
Remove illegal e-cigarette products from the market. Thousands of e-cigarette products sold in child-friendly flavors remain on the market despite being illegal under FDA regulations. The FDA must take aggressive enforcement action to remove these products from the market.
Regulate all tobacco products in the interest of public health. The FDA must thoroughly, transparently, and appropriately evaluate premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. This product-by-product review of all new tobacco products must prioritize each product's impact on children as the agency determines whether a product is appropriate for the protection of public health.
Defend cigarette graphic warning labels regulation from industry challenges. After nearly a decade, the FDA promulgated a final rule implementing the statutory requirement for cigarette packaging and advertising to carry graphic warning labels that tell the truth about smoking. It is critical for the federal government to vigorously defend the rule in court and ensure graphic warning labels make it onto every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States.
Study youth tobacco cessation strategies and therapies. There is a paucity of data to guide clinicians in helping adolescents treat tobacco addiction. New therapies and treatment modalities are needed. The NIH must prioritize research into adolescent tobacco cessation.
American Academy of Pediatrics