The AAFP is proud to support the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action, a national awareness day to encourage kids and their communities to take action and speak out against tobacco use.
While overall tobacco use among youth and adults has steadily declined, e-cigarette use, especially among youth, is increasing at an alarming rate and a serious public health issue. In 2018, the Surgeon General declared youth e-cigarette use an epidemic, and issued an advisory to address youth e-cigarette use and prevention.
Certain populations are also more likely to experience negative health outcomes from tobacco use for a variety of reasons, including targeted marking. In 2018, tobacco companies spent $9.1 billion marketing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in the United States; nearly $25 million each day, or more than $1 million every hour. These figures don’t include spending for marketing and promotion of products like e-cigarettes and vapes because unlike cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies, other tobacco product companies have not been required to report their expenditures.
Tobacco companies intentionally advertise to specific populations through targeted advertising, event sponsorships and giveaways to aggressively target marginalized populations, directly contributing to higher rates of tobacco use. Youth are particularly vulnerable to tobacco advertising, including e-cigarette ads. The CDC found that targeted e-cigarette ads reached nearly 4 in 5 (20.5 million) U.S. middle and high school students in 2016. Exposure to e-cigarette advertising is directly linked to increased use by youth and adolescents.
The AAFP has called for aggressive regulation of e-cigarettes and tobacco products through a variety of strategies, including taxation, an immediate end to e-cigarette marketing, increasing the age of sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21, and banning all flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
AAFP’s work has led to the FDA changing the age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. The FDA also has since banned fruit flavors that attract teens to e-cigarettes as well.
In partnership with AAFP, you can address tobacco and e-cigarette use across all populations and reduce the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. On Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action, you are encouraged to: