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Chandler Praises FDA Action Against Electronic Cigarettes

Lisa Autry

The Food and Drug Administration announced new steps on Thursday aimed at further decreasing U.S. smoking rates, which have been falling for decades. 

The FDA is proposing a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, and restricting the sale of most flavored versions of electronic cigarettes. 

Former U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler, who now leads The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, responded to the FDA announcement during an interview with WKU Public Radio.

Battery-powered e-cigarettes are more popular among teens than regular smokes and are considered safer. But many versions contain potentially addictive nicotine, and health officials believe they set kids who try them on a path toward regular cigarettes.

The jury is still out on whether vaping prodcuts reduce overall tobacco use and illness among adults.  Unless and until it's proven that flavored e-cigarettes actually do help adult smokers kick the habit, Chandler says they shouldn't be allowed on the market.

In 2017, 44 percent of Kentucky high school students reported they had at least tried vaping while 14 percent admitted using e-cigarettes on a regular basis.

The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow will bring together experts from Kentucky and around nation on Dec. 10 to share the latest developments in e-cigarette use, safety, and regulation.  The results of youth focus group discussions  regarding their perceptions and use of e-cigarettes will also be released at the conference.  It will take place at The Foundation for a Healthy in Louisville and will be streamed to satellite locations in Bowling Green, Paducah, and Hazard.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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