LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to see stronger regulations to reduce young people’s use of nicotine products.
Nessel joined a bipartisan group of other attorneys general on Thursday to call on the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate nicotine products made with flavors attractive to kids. The group also wants to see limits implemented on nicotine levels in e-cigarettes and oral nicotine products like gum and lozenges. Additionally, they want companies to adhere to marketing restrictions and an effective age verification process.
"The youth nicotine epidemic is an urgent public health matter and it is on us to ensure that the health and safety of our youth are not jeopardized,” Nessel said in a statement. “I urge the FDA to take immediate action and use its regulatory powers to impose restrictions on these products that are harming our young people.”
The FDA has the power to decide whether to allow products to stay on the market through a process called the Premarket Tobacco Product Applications. Implementing these new regulations would reject approval for products that could make the county’s youth nicotine epidemic worse.
According to Nessel’s office, the use of e-cigarettes in high school students has increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 19.6% in 2020. Oral nicotine use, specifically the use of pouches, is also becoming rapidly more popular among young people.
“[Pouches] are quickly becoming the fastest-growing nicotine category in convenience stores, growing by about 500%,” Nessel’s office wrote.
“Indeed, nicotine pouches— led by Zyn—are quickly becoming the fastest-growing nicotine category in convenience stores, growing by about 500% during the 24 weeks ending on May 30, 2020,” the group wrote to the FDA commissioner.
Nessel joins attorneys general from Maine, Maryland, Oregon, and Illinois in signing the letter.
The FDA is expected to begin deciding which e-cigarettes and oral nicotine products will be allowed on the market starting on Sept. 9.
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