“The Chicago City Council today delivered a win for kids over the tobacco industry by voting 46-4 to prohibit the sale of all flavoured e-cigarettes,” yammered the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK). “This legislation is a critical step to help end the worsening youth e-cigarette epidemic and stop e-cigarettes from addicting a generation of kids. This action comes at a critical time as a recent study, highlighted in The New York Times, found that young people who vape are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19.”
CTFK says it received funding from organisation including:
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals)
- American Cancer Society (staunchly anti-vaping)
- American Heart Association (staunchly anti-vaping)
- And, oddly, the Levi Strauss Company
CTFK continues: “Today's action on flavoured e-cigarettes is urgently needed given the alarming increase in youth e-cigarette use in recent years that has been driven by flavoured e-cigarettes. In Illinois, about 1 in 5 high school students (19.9%) use e-cigarettes. The evidence is clear that flavoured e-cigarettes have fuelled this epidemic – 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavoured product in the past month, and 70% cite flavours as the reason for their use.”
As has been shown many times, CTFK plays fast and loose with the truth and these statements veer from demonstrable fact once again. For all of its supposed opposition to tobacco and the tobacco industry (it goes to pains to point out it doesn’t accept money from Big T firms), CTKF colluded with Philip Morris International to agree a set of mutually acceptable terms on more than one occasion.
Brody Mullens wrote a 2004 article titled, “How Philip Morris, Tobacco Foes Tied the Knot” in Roll Call. In it, he revealed: “The face-to-face negotiating sessions and conference calls were so sensitive that Philip Morris and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids refused to tell even their closest allies.”
It did it again in 2007, The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) stated that CTFK held “secret negotiations” with Philip Morris to draft the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act”.
Fortunately, there are parts of the United States that are resisting this duplicitous pressure. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis just rejected the bill to raise the age of purchase to 21 because it would also have included a ban on flavoured eliquids.
“This legislation would almost assuredly lead more people to resume smoking cigarettes and it would drive others to the hazardous black market,” he said, acknowledging what advocates have been saying in opposition to all of the American ban proposals.