Tennessee healthcare organizations call for ban on flavored vaping products

Some of Tennessee’s largest healthcare advocacy organizations are urging Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly to take swift action in response to the emerging public health issues associated with electronic nicotine delivery systems.

In a letter sent today (Oct. 8) to Gov. Bill Lee, more than a dozen associations petitioned the Governor to implement “…an emergency temporary measure to restrict Tennessee youth from obtaining vaping products,” and encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to “…take more permanent legislative action when it convenes in 2020.” The letter was initiated and coordinated by the Tennessee Medical Association.

The groups cite the sudden outbreak of vaping-related illnesses as cause for immediate governmental intervention, pointing to three dozen cases in Tennessee and more than 1,000 cases nationwide. Vaping use among teenagers continues to climb despite large quantities of nicotine a lack of conclusive research about the risk of exposure to many other chemicals in the liquid solutions. Public health advocates are most concerned about flavored products that are intentionally packaged to mimic candy, juices or other kid-friendly products and marketed directly to adolescents.

The Tennessee Medical Association overwhelmingly passed an emergency resolution in May during the association’s annual policymaking meeting supporting a legislative ban on the sale of flavored vaping products in Tennessee.

Tennessee could join at least five other states that have already restricted or banned the sale and/or marketing of flavored vaping products, while federal officials consider new regulations or possible removal of flavored vaping devices from the market.