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Tuesday, October 29, 2019 11:16 AM

IAFP Statement in support of banning all flavors in tobacco/nicotine products

Monica J. Fudala, MD - President
October 29, 2019
Legislative Contact: Gordana Krkic, CAE [email protected]
Media Contact:  Ginnie Flynn [email protected]

"We have a deadly problem spreading throughout our schools, playgrounds, locker rooms and neighborhoods. Our kids are falling victim to an emerging and dangerous addiction. We as a community didn’t anticipate the widespread infiltration of electronic cigarettes, and the ability of youth to hide them from parents, teachers and coaches.

Now we have an addiction problem. Now we have an outbreak of respiratory illness linked directly to using some form of these nicotine delivery devices. These products are not proven cessation devices. They are not proven safe. They are emerging as another tool of addiction to a chemical – nicotine- that negatively impacts brain development.

One of the most urgent policies we can enact now is a total ban on all flavors, including mint and menthol, to remove any enticing labels for these products that have the potential of devastating outcomes on our youth.

A recent survey, which was commissioned by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, found that more than 20% of young adults consider e-cigarettes to be both harmless and nonaddictive. We are seeing mounting evidence to the contrary. But teens don’t want evidence, they want messages that validate their wishes. For years they’ve been given the wrong messages about vaping driven by the manufacturers that profit from these products.

Meanwhile, mint and menthol products have been specifically marketed to the black community for decades. Our physician members in those communities will tell you – menthol is what got them started and keeps them addicted.

Taking all flavors off the market won’t immediately fix the problem for users already addicted to cigarettes and alternative nicotine products. They’ll need our help to quit, with evidence-based support and medications. But it will keep the next group of young kids from seeking these products in the future.

The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians strongly supports SB 668 and HB 3883, to permanently remove all flavors from all nicotine and tobacco products as a step that will further reduce tobacco and nicotine use, along with the diseases, deaths and health care costs that come with this addiction."


The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) represents over 5,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students dedicated to promoting the value of the specialty of Family Medicine and improving health for all through advocacy, education and action. Learn more at www.iafp.com.