Statement from Jose Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vital Strategies, on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new $160 million investment in ending the youth e-cigarette epidemic:
“Kid-friendly flavored e-cigarettes have supercharged an epidemic of youth nicotine addiction.We applaud Michael Bloomberg for investing in this new initiative to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Mr. Bloomberg has long expressed serious concerns about e-cigarettes and their impact on youth – concerns that we have shared. These concerns have proved to be justified.
“A third of all U.S. e-cigarette users are middle and high-school students, and over a single year (2017-2018), youth e-cigarette rose 78%. By failing to take swift action to regulate these products, lawmakers have allowed e-cigarette companies to mislead consumers about the health benefits of their products and hook a new generation of America’s kids and teens with sweet and fruity flavors. “Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes” will benefit immensely under Mr. Bloomberg’s leadership and with support from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an organization that has a proven track record of protecting children and saving lives from tobacco use in the US and abroad.
“Together, I have no doubt they will provide the leadership that is needed to combat this epidemic threatening America’s youth and protect our progress towards a tobacco-free generation.”