Schumer, local school leaders call for e-cig action

Rome City School District Superintendent Peter Blake Monday stood with a number of Central New York principals, parents and students outside Fayetteville-Manlius High School as part of a movement asking the federal government to ban kid-friendly e-cigarette flavors.

“The fight against electronic cigarette use and ‘juuling’ is larger than the concerns involved with the lack of regulation on ingredients; it’s the fight against addiction,” Blake said in a news release from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s office. “Regardless of the level of health risk, the devices are addictive and research shows that addictive personalities will seek a greater addiction in the future. We need to stop providing our children access to addiction.”

The event comes after U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer started calling on the Food and Drug Administration to use a law on the books to immediately rein in and ban the kid-friendly e-cig flavors, according to the release.

A large number of health organizations — the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Lung Association — last month signed and sent a warning letter to FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb about the dangers of kids vaping, the release said.

In Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, school districts have been reaching out to parents about the increase in students vaping in schools, Rome Free Academy officials even removed the doors from school bathrooms to try to curb the practice.

“The craze among kids for e-cig flavors that resemble whipped cream, candy and cookies is not only a bad trend, but it is a recipe for disaster that is fueling an outright addiction that appears to be getting worse, not better,” Schumer said in the release. “This e-cig, nicotine-laced liquid could have very serious implications on adolescent development and health. That is why it is high time to ramp up the pressure on and by the FDA so quicker action to rid the marketplace of kid-friendly e-cig flavors is taken. ... Central New York kids are in a flavor trap and it’s becoming a real epidemic now.”

The law Schumer would like the FDA to use to reign in e-cigs is the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, the release said. The law already provides the FDA with authority over e-cigs.

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