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American Lung Association finds First State response to flavored tobacco lacking

James Dawson
Delaware Public Media

Delaware gets a failing grade from the American Lung Association on its efforts to restrict flavored tobacco products access.

The American Lung Association is calling on the First State to pass legislation this year restricting access to all flavored tobacco products to curb tobacco use and youth vaping.

The group’s “State of Tobacco Control” report says ending tobacco use in Delaware is critical to saving lives especially during the pandemic.

The American Lung Association’s Deb Brown says flavored tobacco is problematic because many people find it attractive.

"Flavored tobacco attracts and hooks many Americans to a lifetime of addiction and particularly young children," said Brown. "Menthol cigarettes and all flavor tobacco products including flavored e-cigarettes flavored cigars really need to be removed from the marketplace."

The report states 1 in 5 teens in Delaware are vaping, leading many children to becoming the next generation addicted to tobacco.

Brown says Delaware needs to be more proactive in restricting access to flavored tobacco products.

"There are only a few States currently that have passed this particular legislation and so Massachusetts, New York," said Brown. "So we're looking to be among the first as Delaware always is to get this legislation passed."

Brown notes some state lawmakers are working with the American Lung Association to draft legislation to prohibit flavored tobacco products sales in the state.

"There are several legislators that are working with us," said Brown "Representative Minor-Brown and Representative Griffiths have indicated that they are interested in legislation that would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products."

The report did find that Delaware has taken significant steps to reduce tobacco use including providing access to cessation services.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.