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e-News October 31, 2019

Coalition News


Coalition Rally to Launch2020 Legislative Agenda: Jan. 14, 10 a.m.

Please plan now to join Coalition partners and members at a rally in support of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow's 2020 legislative priorities: Tuesday, January 14, at 10 a.m. (ET) in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. We need parents, students, health advocates, health care providers and payers, educators, business leaders and the faith community to be on site to create a huge show of support for proven measures to reduce tobacco use in Kentucky, especially among youth.

Following the rally, you'll want to meet with your legislators to advocate for the Coalition's priorities. You can start setting up those appointments in mid-November.

The Coalition will support several measures in 2020, and we are particularly focused on preventing youth e-cigarette use or "vaping." Our priorities include:

  • E-Cigarette Tax: Adding an excise tax on e-cigarettes, or "vapes," that is parallel to the current tax on traditional, combustible cigarettes (Bill Request 32), filed in advance by Rep. Jerry T. Miller of Louisville);

  • Tobacco 21: Prohibiting retailers from selling tobacco products to persons under the age of 21 (currently, sales are barred to persons under age 18).

  • Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Funding: Increasing the state funding in 2020-2021 from $3.8 million to $10 million (the current funding level is just 6.7 percent of the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

  • Increased Cigarette Excise Tax: Increasing the state excise tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack (Kentucky's current tax is $1.10; the national average is $1.81.)

Join the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow at 10 a.m. (ET) on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Capitol in Frankfort to advocate for tobacco-use reduction laws.

Correction to story in Sept. 26, 2019 issue of Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow e-News:

A story about Kentucky kids' use of e-cigarettes included a table that incorrectly characterized the rate increase from 2017 to 2019. Nonetheless, usage more than doubled for each grade during the two-year period. The corrected table is below.


National Update


Lung Illness Associated with E-Cig Use Now Total More than 1,600; 34 deaths

Reports of the serious lung illness associated with e-cigarette use or "vaping" now total 1,604 cases from Kentucky and 48 other states; 34 people have died from this illness. Kentucky

X-rays show damage to lung tissue: CDC.

has 28 cases under investigation; six are probably and two have been confirmed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "To date, national and state data suggest that products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g., friends, family members, or illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak."

The CDC warns that symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain; nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea; and fever, chills, or weight loss. Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A lung infection does not

The CDC has not yet identified the specific cause, but suspects a chemical in the products and says the only way to assure you are not at risk is to refrain from all e-cig products.

Meanwhile, the agency says people should not:

  • Use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.

  • Buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC, off the street.

  • Modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.

Read more here.

(X-rays show damage to lung tissue: CDC.)

20% Young Adults Wrongly Believe E-cigs are Safe, Nonaddictive

A new survey reinforces the continuing need to educate young adults on the dangers of e-cigarette use. The 2019 National Cancer Opinion Survey found that one in four millennials (ages 23-38) and one in five Generation Z (18-22) adults surveyed in June 2019 continued to believe that e-cigarettes are harmless. One in five of all adults surveyed still thought e-cigs are not addictive.

The good news is that 71 percent of adults expressed support for having the FDA regulate the sale and manufacture of e-cigarettes, and 68 percent supported raising the legal age for purchasing e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.

Read more on the survey here.

For First Time, FDA Will Allow Tobacco Pouches to be Marketed as "Less Harmful"

Eight smokeless tobacco products sold under the "General" brand name will be allowed to claim in marketing that they are less risky than cigarettes, under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision announced Oct. 22. This is the first time the FDA has permitted a "modified risk" claim for a tobacco product. The Swedish Match snus tobacco pouch product packaging still must carry the warning statements required for all smokeless tobacco, stating for example that they can cause mouth cancer and are addictive. Read more here.

Still No Word from FDA on Flavor Ban

Despite a Sept. 11 announcement from the White House that the federal government would "clear the market" of flavored e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

has yet to announce the regulations to implement the ban. This is despite the fact that FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless stated on Sept. 25 that "No ENDS product in the United States is on the market legally." In that statement, he also said the agency would announce guidance soon about how it would use its existing authority to pull all flavored e-cigarettes from the market and then allow marketers to apply to sell them again, subject to meeting certain criteria - in short, that they cause less harm than good. Meanwhile, at least eight states have moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes, but courts subsequently have prevented the bans from going into effect in New York and Minnesota.

Industry Updates

- Juul announced that it would stop selling flavored e-cigarettes, except mint/menthol and tobacco flavors, on Oct. 17.See NPR story.

- Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart announced that they would stop selling e-cigarettes. See Reuters story.


Partners and Member Events


Louisville Community Conversation on Youth E-Cig Use is Nov. 6

Several groups are coming together to host a community conversation titled E-Cigarettes & Youth: Addressing An Epidemic, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 4-6 p.m. (ET) at the duPont Manual High School auditorium, 120 West Lee Street in Louisville. This youth-led event will feature Kentucky students asking questions of several experts, including health advocates, researchers, physicians, and policy advocates. The event is free to the public. Hosts include the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Metro Louisville Public Health and Wellness, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky Youth Advocates, and the YMCA. For more information, contact Tracy Monks at 502-371-6019.

NKY Regional Community Health Forum set for Nov. 15 in Erlanger

Health coalitions, business leaders, health providers and elected officials working to improve health in the Northern Kentucky area are invited to participate a Regional Community Health Forum in Erlanger on Nov. 15. from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.(ET). The exchange is hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in partnership with the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

The 90-minute morning forum is free; it will include information on efforts to address teen e-cigarette use, or "vaping," an update on vaping-related lung illnesses in Kentucky. There also will be an opportunity for attendees to share their thoughts and ask questions about health policy issues. Register here.

Plan now for Nov. 21 Great American Smokeout

Download the American Cancer Society's myriad "Great American Smokeout" resources for use by businesses, community leaders and health systems to help customers and employees. Materials include posters, flyers, and quit cards.

Lung Force Expo is Nov. 22 in Pikeville

The American Lung Association will host Lung Force Expo, a program for patients, caregivers and health care providers to learn more about the latest trends, resources and research around lung cancer, COPD and other chronic lung diseases. The event is Friday, Nov. 22, at 8:30 a.m. (ET) at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville. Register here.

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow Advocacy Day is Jan. 14

Calling all Coalition members and partners: We will have a rally in the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 10 a.m. to launch our legislative agenda. RSVP to

2020 Children's Advocacy Day at the Capitol is Jan. 23

Hundreds of youth and adults attend Children's Advocacy Day at the capitol every year to talk talk with lawmakers about the legislation that will help every child reach their potential. Please register here to be in Frankfort for the kids on Jan. 23.

Tobacco Control Spring Conference April 14-15, 2020, in Lexington

Save April 14-15, 2020, on your calendar now for the annual Tobacco Control Spring Conference, brought to you by the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy and the Kentucky Department for Public Health's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. Next year's conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Coldstream in Lexington. Questions? Contact Amanda Bucher,


Members/Partners in the News


Illnesses and deaths from e-cigarettes are still on the rise, and the causes are still not known; state health officials urge quitting

Schools confront student vaping as illness reports climb across U.S.

To protect youth from vaping, Kentucky must remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market

Regional Community Health Forum coming; hosts: NKY Public Health, Foundation for Healthy KY


Want to join us?


Does your organization want to help make Kentucky healthier by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke? Click here to join our Coalition. Or email Alexa Kerley, It's FREE to join!

American Cancer Society

Cancer Action Network


American Heart Association American Stroke Association


American Lung Association


Baptist Health


Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky


Kentucky Cancer Foundation


Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy


Kentucky Chamber of Commerce


Kentucky Council of Churches

Kentucky Equal Justice Center


Kentucky Health Collaborative


Kentucky Health Departments Association

Kentucky Hospital Association


Kentucky Medical Association


Kentucky Nurses Association


Kentucky Voices for Health


Kentucky Youth Advocates

Contact the Coalition

Toll Free: 877-326-2583

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