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Last week, the American Heart Association published a policy statement regarding the actions that must be taken to achieve the end of all tobacco use and nicotine addiction in the United States.

The Union welcomes the statement, published in the scientific journal Circulation, which describes what governments, public health community and health care providers need to do to achieve the “tobacco endgame”. Such a goal first requires minimising the use of all combustible tobacco products and ensuring electronic cigarettes and other recent products do not addict the next generation of youth and adolescents.

According to the American Heart Association, electronic cigarettes have become the most popular tobacco products for youth and adolescents in the United States and are attracting youth to new avenues for nicotine addiction.

The American Heart Association state that this endgame goal is at risk with the tobacco industry’s increasingly aggressive targeting of youth and adolescents, which has driven the rapid rise of electronic cigarettes and other new and emerging tobacco products. They believe these pose an unprecedented threat to human life and the decades of public health efforts to reduce tobacco use.

Dr Gan Quan, Director of Tobacco Control at The Union, said: “We fully support this balanced, comprehensive and timely presidential advisory from the American Heart Association.

“The tobacco endgame is within reach, but we must not let the tobacco industry derail this through the development and promotion of electronic cigarettes.

“Although these products might help people stop smoking, it is still unclear what the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are.”

For the endgame to be achieved the American Heart Association urgently calls for robust US Food and Drug Administration regulation of all tobacco products to avoid the significant economic and population health consequences of continued tobacco use.

The endgame strategy also needs to be coordinated with the long-standing, evidence-based tobacco control strategies that have significantly reduced tobacco use and initiation in the United States.

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, said: “We are truly at a crossroads in the decades-long war against Big Tobacco over the future of our children.

“We could allow current trends to continue on their disturbing path or we could take action to change the course of tobacco use in this country. If lawmakers, policymakers, health care providers and the public health community seize this moment and do what is necessary to reach the tobacco endgame, we will save millions of lives in the process.”

Please read The Union’s position papers on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products through the links below:

- e-cigarettes - https://tobaccofreeunion.org/images/The_Union_Summary_Position_Statement_ECs-ENDS_Update_2014_-_2016_update.pdf

- Heated tobacco products - https://tobaccofreeunion.org/images/Heated_Tobacco_Product_Union_Position_Statement_-_Final_25.01.18.pdf

 

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