KU News Service

Proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes fitting as negative health effects cannot be ignored, prof says

Wed, 09/11/2019

LAWRENCE — President Donald Trump announced his administration would propose banning thousands of flavors used in electronic cigarettes in an effort to fight an increase in underage vaping. Under such a ban, the Food and Drug Administration would develop guidelines to remove all flavors of e-cigarettes except tobacco from the market.

Yvonnes Chen, University of Kansas associate professor of journalism & mass communications, has studied the effects of vaping advertisements on adolescents and youths, and she is available to discuss the proposed ban with media. She can discuss vaping, the proposed ban, underage vaping, how e-cigarettes are marketed to adolescents, health effects of vaping and related topics.

“There is strong evidence demonstrating the alluring nature of flavored e-cigarettes,” Chen said. “Their negative impact on health can no longer be ignored.”

Chen and fellow researchers have called on the FDA to take action to regulate e-cigarettes and their advertising in the past. The guidelines will take several weeks to be developed and will be subject to public input before implementation. Trump’s proposal comes amid reports of hundreds of breathing illnesses in people who have used vaping devices.

Chen has published research showing that adolescents’ brains react similarly to smokers’ when viewing e-cigarette ads and that young people respond to such ads without questioning their content. Her larger body of research focuses on designing effective programs to promote healthy lifestyles, and she teaches courses in health communication, strategic campaigns and data analysis.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

Image: Activation maps among participants of varying degree of smoking statuses, via Yvonnes Chen.

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