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Cut flavors to stall vaping epidemic -- Brian Williams

September 18, 2018

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared youth vaping an “epidemic” this week. Congratulations to the FDA on recognizing the incredible risk our society faces of having a new generation addicted to nicotine.

Teenage e-cigarette use has increased dramatically over the past seven years and e-cigarettes are now the most popular tobacco product used by teenagers. Though often viewed as “safe,” e-cigarettes are known to release cancer-causing chemicals.

The Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey shows that more than 13 percent of students in our high schools are currently vaping. These kids are at a huge risk of lifelong nicotine addiction and the devastating effects nicotine can have on the developing adolescent brain. Unfortunately, the wide variety of flavors used in e-cigarettes are extremely appealing to youth. The vast majority of high school students who vape stated they probably wouldn’t vape if it weren’t for the flavors.

Kudos to the FDA for recognizing the vaping “epidemic.” It is now time to eliminate flavors from e-cigarettes and protect our next generation from the health consequences of nicotine addiction.

Dr. Brian Williams, Madison

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