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Governor DeWine Is Right: To Protect Ohio Kids, Legislature Should End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strongly supports Gov. Mike DeWine’s call in his State of the State address today for the Legislature to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in Ohio. We applaud and thank Gov. DeWine for his continuing leadership in standing up to the tobacco industry and working to end the industry’s predatory targeting of kids, Black communities and other communities with flavored products. Gov. DeWine is a true champion for the health of Ohio’s kids and communities, and the Legislature should heed his call to act. As Gov. DeWine stated, tobacco companies “continue to target our kids, eager to addict the next generation” and lawmakers “have an obligation to protect Ohio children.”

 

Tobacco companies use flavored products like flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes to target and addict kids, Black Americans, the LGBTQ+ community and other communities. In Ohio, 20% of high school students currently use e-cigarettes, and research shows that about 90% of youth e-cigarette users nationwide use flavored products. The tobacco industry has especially targeted Black and other communities with menthol cigarettes, which are more addictive, easier for kids to start smoking and harder for smokers to quit. By ending the sale of flavored tobacco products, Ohio lawmakers can protect kids, advance health equity, save lives and save money by reducing tobacco-related healthcare costs, which total over $6.5 billion in Ohio.

 

We urge the Legislature to join with Gov. DeWine in siding with Ohio’s kids and communities over the tobacco industry.

 

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