Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced that Tennessee has joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of electronic cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs. The 39-state coalition is investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation device.
“Youth e-cigarette usage is a serious public health concern for Tennessee,” said General Slatery. “Public health research shows that nicotine dependence and e-cigarette usage among youth are associated with increased likelihood of youth smoking, even among youth who are otherwise not likely to smoke.”
While traditional cigarette use has decreased among youth, vaping has risen sharply. In Tennessee, high school smoking rates have dropped to 9.4%, while vaping among the same group has risen to 11.5%. The National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control found 20.8% of high school students were vaping in 2018.