The Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health wrote an opinion article for The Hill, a DC-based newspaper, which makes assertions that are without factual basis. The Commissioner asserts that Big Tobacco is responsible for underage use of e-cigarettes. Specifically, the article states that”Nearly all e-cigarettes use flavored liquids that attract young people with names like Gummy Bear, Cherry Crush and Crème Brulee” and “Big Tobacco knows that marketing that focuses on flavors is effective at getting youth to start using.”
The article makes these inaccurate statements despite the fact that the overwhelming market share leader among vaping products, particularly those used by kids, is not affiliated with any of the Big Tobacco companies. Similarly, companies such as Candy King which sell candy-flavored vapes, are also competitors to Big Tobacco.
Solving the problem of youth tobacco addiction requires strong action by FDA. It also requires that public health leaders provide the public with accurate, unbiased information.