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Blumenthal, health advocates work together to curb tobacco use

Blumethal - Tobacco.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut speaks on methods of limiting tobacco addiction use among young people Thursday in Hartford.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said he will work with health advocates on methods to limit tobacco use among young people.

A 2022 survey from the Food and Drug Administration shows more than 2.5 million high school and middle school students use e-cigarettes — with 1-in-4 smoking them daily.

Blumenthal said legislation he introduced three years ago, known as the Preventing Opportunities for Teen E-Cigarette and Tobacco Addiction Act, could help reverse that trend.

“The road to an addiction disease can be blocked if teens, parents and others can unite against this new trend and the industry," said Blumenthal.

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Kevin O’Flaherty, regional director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the goal is to make e-cigarettes unappealing to kids. 

“JUUL and these other products with nicotine salts and all these flavors that make it taste just like candy, you can conceivably inhale an entire vaping pod in one day," said O'Flaherty. "What chance does any kid have to avoid addiction with that kind of uptick?”  

The FDA survey also found that e-cigarettes that are disposable and flavored are most popular with young adults.  

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.