Opinion: Congress should stop protecting tobacco industry | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Congress should stop protecting tobacco industry

Cotton candy, gummy bear, watermelon. If you think these are flavors of candy, think again. They're actually flavors of tobacco products, like little cigars and electronic cigarettes.

These products are the tobacco industry's latest efforts to target our kids. It's working. Youth e-cigarette use tripled from 2013 to 2014, and high school boys now smoke cigars at the same rate as cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration is finalizing long-overdue rules to address the explosion in e-cigarette and cigar products. But some in Congress are trying to protect the tobacco industry by weakening FDA oversight of e-cigarettes and cigars, including the candy-flavored products that attract kids. The House Appropriations Committee passed a proposal that does just that.

That makes no sense at all. Congress should be protecting our kids, not the tobacco industry. Congress should make sure this proposal never becomes law. I urge our politicians make it a priority to defeat this very harmful proposal.

Spencer Flanders

Carson City