WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The White House can truly celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this week by directing the FDA to issue a proposed rule to remove all flavored tobacco products, including menthol products, from the marketplace and protect the health of families and children," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group.
The Alliance's statement supports efforts announced today by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) to reverse action by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that eliminated menthol and flavors text from a proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "deeming rule" before it was finalized implementing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act. The eliminated FDA text presented overwhelming evidence, supported by comments it received on the proposed rule, that menthol, candy, and fruit-flavored tobacco products attracted children and teens to tobacco use and deterred quitting.
"President Obama can save lives by directing FDA to use its power to order companies to reduce or eliminate harmful ingredients and additives, including prohibiting menthol and kid-friendly flavorings in cigars, electronic cigarettes and other nicotine vapor products. Flavoring ingredients and additives have been shown to attract children and teens to tobacco use and the impact has helped created a tobacco tipping point among Hispanic children and teens," said Dr. Delgado.
While Hispanic adults are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to smoke, among middle school students Hispanics are now the group most likely to be current tobacco users (10.6%) compared to non-Hispanic white (6.3%) and non-Hispanic black (6.6%) students and more likely than their peers to be using two or more tobacco products. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data also show that e-cigarettes are now the most common tobacco products used among children and teens and use escalated from 1.5 to 16.0 percent between 2011 and 2015 among middle and high school students.
"Rather than waiting years for another FDA action, it is critical to protect the lives of children and teens at risk today from new tobacco products and flavorings designed to attract new smokers and foster a generation of illness and death," concluded Dr. Delgado.
The Alliance announced that parents who want to learn more about how to protect their children from tobacco use can contact the Alliance's bilingual Su Familia Helpline at 1-866-783-2645 for guidance. Health promotion advisors are also available at the toll-free Helpline to provide smokers with information on how to quit and locate smoking cessation support services in their community.
About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (The Alliance)
The Alliance is the nation's foremost science-based source of information and trusted advocate for the best health outcomes for all. For more information, visit http://www.hispanichealth.org or call the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.
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SOURCE National Alliance for Hispanic Health