Merkley Statement on FDA Delay of E-Cigarette Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), released the following statement after the FDA announced its new plan on tobacco regulation:

“The tobacco industry produces products that kill thousands of Americans each year, and sustains itself by recruiting ‘replacement smokers’ by marketing to young adults. That’s why we were hoping to hear a strong plan from the FDA today.

“Unfortunately, the FDA instead announced that it will allow e-cigarette products, largely aimed at children, to remain on the market for five more years with very little regulation. 

“According to the CDC’s latest data, 20 percent of high school students, and 7 percent of middle school students – 12 and 13 year old kids – use e-cigarettes.  And they use it because they have names like “cotton candy,” “froot loops” and “gummy bear.” These are not products targeted towards adults. 

“While the FDA’s goal of reducing the level of nicotine in traditional cigarettes is an important and admirable goal, it does nothing to address the growing threat of e-cigarette usage. Thousands more children will become addicted during this time, and everyone who cares about America’s youth should be deeply concerned by this decision.”