Sadly the ALA has a reputation for maintaining an outdated stance towards tobacco harm reduction, and has on multiple occasions shared misinformation on the topic.
“’State of Tobacco Control’ 2021 provides an important roadmap on how states like Alabama and the federal government can put in place the policies proven to have the greatest impact on reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Ashley Lyerly, the director of advocacy for the association. “Because of COVID-19, we are all thinking more about lung health. Now is the time for lawmakers in Alabama to act and take this opportunity to achieve lasting reductions in tobacco-related death and disease.”
Sadly, when referring to tobacco products, the ALA is also including safer alternatives such as vaping products. Unfortunately, the association has a reputation for maintaining an outdated stance towards tobacco harm reduction, and has on multiple occasions shared misinformation and counter productive guidance on the topic.
Teen vaping campaign
Last September, the association launched a teen vaping campaign with an integrated, multi-component approach to support parents, schools and students, aimed at ending the alleged “youth vaping epidemic.”
The initiative claims to strive towards eliminating youth “tobacco” use by 2025. The Chief Mission Officer for the ALA, Deb Brown said that the association is working to ensure that kids are not pressured to vape. “That exposes them to harmful chemicals, and really sets them up for a lifetime of addiction,” said Brown, referring to vaping. She added that besides other health risks, vaping can lead to decreased lung health, especially in younger users.
To this effect, the ALA is collaborating with the Ad Council to promote resources that can best inform families about these dangers. “We use that to help parents understand the facts about e-cigarettes,” Brown continued, “and how to support conversations with their children before they start to vape.” She explained that the association is also launching a vape-free initiative for schools along with a research program looking into the effect of vaping on developing lungs.
Moreover, the initiative includes a plan for targeted advocacy at all government levels. “The Lung Association will implement a targeted advocacy plan to impact tobacco policies, including e-cigarette policies, at local, state and federal levels. The plan will urge the FDA to exercise robust regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and youth directed e-cigarette marketing,” reads the ALA website.
Read Further: The Alabama Political Reporter