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What They're Saying: Raimondo Directs the Department of Health to Regulate Flavored E-Cigarette Products

09/26/2019
PROVIDENCE, RI- Following Governor Raimondo's executive action yesterday, education, civic, and community leaders across the state are speaking out in support of regulating flavored e-cigarettes. Here's what they're saying:

"My peers started using e-cigs because of flavors and they continue to use because of nicotine. Removing flavored products from the market gives us a fighting chance to reduce the impact nicotine addiction has on my generation."

-Kennedy Chartier, sophomore at Johnson and Wales University from North Smithfield, and a young adult advocate for stricter policies on flavored e-cigarette products

"I support the Governor's ban on flavored electronic cigarettes, which is a measured response to a serious health crisis. I expect the House will be looking closely at this issue in the next session with legislation, some of which is already being drafted."

-House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello

"I have discussed the ban on flavored electronic cigarettes with the Governor, and I am fully supportive of her action to address this public health situation. I anticipate that related legislation will be reviewed in the 2020 legislative session."

-Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio

"Governor Raimondo is taking a critical step to curtail the use of flavored e-cigarettes in our home state of Rhode Island. This important action will reduce the number of youths in the state who are exposed to tobacco and other harmful products, which can reduce the prevalence of tobacco-related diseases and make a significant impact on the health of our next generation. As the nation's first and only nation retail pharmacy chain to have eliminated the sale of cigarettes and other harmful tobacco products from its retail stores, we applaud the Governor for her leadership in putting health first for Rhode Islanders. This, and similar actions across the country, get us one step closer to the first tobacco-free generation."

-Eileen H. Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy, CVS Health

"Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is very concerned about the sharp increase in youth vaping/e-cigarette use across Rhode Island, and the growing number of very serious lung illnesses and deaths related to vaping that are occurring across the U.S. We support Governor Raimondo's Executive order to develop emergency regulations to prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 20% of high school students in Rhode Island reported using e-cigarettes within the previous 30 days. Nationally, middle and high school students report the top reasons they use e-cigarettes are because a family member or friend uses, for the flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate, and the belief that they are harmless -- but they are not harmless. E-cigarettes have been found to contain heavy metals and other cancer-causing chemicals, and contain nicotine which can lead to addiction and can cause harm to developing adolescent brains. We think it's wise to protect children by prohibiting the sale of flavored vaping products."

-Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

"Rhode Island Little League applauds the Governors efforts to establish emergency regulations for flavored E-Cigarettes. Youth vaping is an epidemic, and we have seen firsthand misusage by children in the Rhode Island communities. We all need to do our part to make sure kids are healthy and safe. They do not have a voice or vote and we thank the Governor for speaking and acting on behalf of our children, the next generation of citizens in Rhode Island."

-Bob Walker, Rhode Island State Coordinator, Little League Baseball and Softball

"In light of what is happening nationally, I think the Governor is right on target in carefully reviewing this issue and I support her actions in doing so. Vaping has become an important issue and a serious health concern in our schools. The marketing techniques being utilized by makers of flavored E-cigarettes are designed to target our young people and I thank Governor Raimondo for taking action."

-Donald Rebello, Executive Director, Rhode Island Association of School Principals

"The Rhode Island School Superintendents Association (RISSA) supports the Governor's action to address the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and youth. RI Superintendents look forward to our continued work with state officials to keep students safe and to provide instruction in how best to develop and maintain healthy life habits."

-Thomas DiPaola, Executive Director, Rhode Island School Superintendents Association (RISSA)

"We commend Governor Raimondo for taking this action to protect our youth and we look forward to working with her in promoting the health of all of Rhode Island's children"

-Tim Duffy, Executive Director, Rhode Island Association of School Committees

"As a community-based organization singularly focused on healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility, the YMCA of Greater Providence strongly supports Governor Raimondo's swift action to keep flavored e-cigarettes out of the hands of our young people,"

-Steven G. O'Donnell, CEO, YMCA of Greater Providence

"On behalf of the Rhode Island Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, we share our support for Governor Raimondo's efforts to curb underage use of electronic smoking devices and to promote policies which prevent and restrict the use of tobacco and vaping among youth while reducing the availability of these products to persons under the age of 21. Our Boys & Girls Clubs are on the front lines against this new phenomenon and we are committed to both understanding the impact of vapor products on our kids, and to putting appropriate policies in place to combat them."

-Erin Gilliatt, Managing Director, RI Boys & Girls Club Alliance

"I want to publicly thank Governor Raimondo for her decision to ban E-Vaping products in this state. Better to stop and evaluate than to risk people's lives. There are a few arguments to be made that this technology is less harmful than the known dangers of a cigarette, but there are many more concerns about the additives and their interactions. This was tragically demonstrated in the recent spate of deaths attributed to vaping products treated with crystalized vitamin E. There are more effective and much safer ways to quit smoking. Separately, the marketing of these nicotine laced and addictive products to younger consumers, at a time when we're not sure of all the risks, seems particularly unwise. I speak as a faith leader, and as a scientist."

-Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely, Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island

"I commend the Governor for her action today in putting the brakes on the vaping crisis in our state. We must protect our youth until we get a handle on the health issues associated with vaping. As a registered nurse, I thank our Governor."

-Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena

"Barrington has long been concerned with the effects of these new tobacco products on our youth. We passed an ordinance raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21 and, when it was struck down on the grounds that only the General Assembly can make such a law, we appealed. I applaud the Governor for her bold action in issuing an order that will protect the people of Barrington and all Rhode Islanders, especially our youth, from these dangerous products."

-Michael W. Carroll, President, Barrington Town Council

"I am so pleased to hear that Governor Raimondo is joining our neighbors in Massachusetts in making the smart decision to ban the sale of vape products. We, the Warren Town Council have been unanimous in our belief that vaping products should not be available for sale in our community because of the detrimental health impact that directly targets children. We are fortunate to have had very educational and convincing presentations from our own student members of the East Bay Tobacco Youth Council illustrating the dangerous effects of using flavored vape pens and the high incidence of use in our schools."

-Keri Cronin, President, Warren Town Council