Phoenix voters are concerned about the sale of flavored tobacco products to youth and support an ordinance to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Phoenix, according to a new poll released by the Flavors Hook Kids Phoenix coalition.
The wide ranging coalition of advocates, which includes the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, has joined Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, according to a press release, to call for an end of the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Phoenix to reduce youth tobacco use and save lives.
Mr. Nowakowski plans to sponsor a citywide ordinance that would end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and flavored smokeless tobacco.
“White, Black, Latinx, Democrat and Republican --- we all agree that ending the sale of flavored tobacco products in Phoenix will make a difference to help reduce the epidemic of teen e-cigarette use,” said Joe Yuhas, director of the Flavors Hook Kids Phoenix coalition in a prepared statement.
“Flavored tobacco has caused a surge of nicotine addiction in young people, and this poll shows our community is concerned and wants to see action taken.”
--- Joe Yuhas
The poll shows by wide margins that 75% of voters are concerned about young people in their community smoking cigarettes, and 76% are concerned about the use of e-cigarettes by young people.
The majority of voters, 62%, favor the ordinance that would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products including fruit, candy, menthol and mint-flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. Poll responders also showed strong concern, 66%, that nicotine is highly addictive and that e-cigarette pods contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Additionally, 75% of respondents said Phoenix should require a license for retailers to sell tobacco products.
The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results released on Aug. 20 by the Center for Disease Control is another powerful reminder of the severity of the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The YRBS found 32.7% of U.S. high school students were current e-cigarette users in 2019, up from 13.2% in 2017. In Arizona, 17.9% of high schoolers use e-cigarette product These surveys demonstrate the need for policymakers to eliminate the sale of all flavored, nicotine-loaded tobacco products that have addicted millions of kids.
The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners and surveyed 500 likely voters in Phoenix by phone from July 13-19.