Robin Koval is CEO and president of Truth Initiative. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own. JUUL’s decision to appoint K.C. Crosthwaite, a longtime Altria executive responsible for building the Marlboro brand, as its new CEO sends a strong signal that the fight to ban flavored e-cigarettes is likely to intensify. Earlier this month, after a sixth person died of lung disease related to vaping — and that number is now up to 12 — the Trump administration announced that it would be taking measures to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the market, excluding tobacco flavors. This is a step in the right direction, as no one knows the long- or short-term health effects of vaping. But more needs to be done. Given their known appeal to youth, all flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, should be banned. Simultaneously, the Food & Drug Administration must do its job and not let the tobacco industry stand in its way. Not a single e-cigarette on the market, including JUUL, the most popular brand, has gone through FDA regulatory review. In 2017, the agency allowed the products to stay on the market while it delayed reviewing them —… Read full this story
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