On the Tobacco Road –
OCT. 8, 2019 – “What bans like this are likely to do is increase the use of illicit products and decrease regulation, which ironically will expand the use of the products that are causing folks to get sick,” said Leo Beletsky, a public health professor at Northeastern University. Some officials have compromised by banning only flavored tobacco products, which are particularly appealing to young people and linked to the surge in high school use of e-cigarettes. A 2019 national survey by the University of Michigan found that 1 in 4 of the nation’s 12th-graders have used an e-cigarette in the last month — a trend that experts say threatens to reverse decades of success in lowering tobacco use among children.
“We really did get the rates down pretty low, and then this e-cigarette thing happened and it all kind of blew up again,” said Gael O’Sullivan, an expert in health marketing at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. “As unfortunate as these illnesses or deaths are, it’s a tipping point where it really is a public health emergency.”