Three in five Americans support stricter regulations on e-cigarettes, according to a Gallup poll released Friday, amid a national campaign to curb e-cigarettes sales as devices like Juul become the tobacco products of choice over cigarettes.
Nearly three-quarters of more than 1,000 respondents support requirements on tobacco companies to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes “to make them less addictive,” while 55% want a $1 increase in the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes (to $2.02), according to the poll, which was conducted between July 5-26 – one month after the Food and Drug Administration banned Juul from the U.S. market.
The 61% of respondents who said they support stricter vaping laws is a jump from the 54% that supported stricter laws in a Gallup poll last year, but slightly less than the 64% in a 2019 Gallup poll.
Meanwhile, 7% of respondents said laws should be less strict and 30% said they should be kept as they are.
Support dropped to 42% when respondents were asked about banning menthol-flavored cigarettes – which the FDA proposed in April, a move that’s expected to have a significant impact on Black smokers, who are often targeted in ads for menthol products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Democrats were the most supportive of stricter laws (69%), above Independents (60%) and Republicans (53%), according to the poll.
Nonsmokers were also more supportive of stricter laws than smokers, with 76% of people who don’t smoke saying the want tobacco companies to lower nicotine content in cigarettes, compared to 62% of smokers, while 59% of nonsmokers support raising the cigarette tax, compared to 21% of smokers.
Cigarette use among adults in the U.S. has plummeted over the past decade, from 20% to 11%, according to Gallup. Meanwhile, the use of vaporizers has increased. Over the past four years, 8% of adults report they vape, Gallup found, while use among teens has skyrocketed, rising to roughly 20% of high school students, according to JAMA. Juul Labs, one of the primary e-cigarette manufacturers, has come under fire over the past several years for marketing flavored products to children, buying ad space on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Seventeen magazine. The poll comes amid a national campaign to curb tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death, according to the CDC. Each year, more than 480,000 Americans die prematurely and 16 million contract a serious illness as a result of smoking or second-hand smoke exposure, costing more than $225 billion in direct medical costs, the CDC found. In June, the Food and Drug Administration banned Juul e-cigarettes from the market, arguing the company’s marketing did not meet FDA standards and that its data product safety for flavored products, including menthol, was not sufficient. Juul appealed the ban last month, prompting the FDA to temporarily suspend its ban for the duration of the appeals process. In April, the FDA proposed a ban on menthol and flavored cigarettes in an effort to curb tobacco sales and lower the mortality rate among smokers.
“We believe that once the FDA does a complete review of all of the science and evidence presented, as required by law and without political pressure, we should receive an authorization to market our products,” a company spokesperson told Forbes.
$4.94. That’s the excise tax customers in Washington D.C. pay for a pack of cigarettes, the highest tax in the country, according to the CDC. Missouri has the lowest tax ($0.17).
FDA Proposes Ban On Menthol Cigarettes And Flavored Cigars (Forbes)
Juul E-Cigarette Ban Creates $1 Billion Opportunity For Vape Companies