Peter C. Blake

Rome superintendent among officials demanding e-cigarette crackdown

Published May 15, 2018 at 4:00pm

Rome school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake was among officials from several districts who appeared with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer Monday regarding Schumer’s demand for a federal crackdown on e-cigarette issues for students.

The officials joined Schumer outside Fayetteville-Manlius High School. Schumer is demanding that the Food and Drug Administration “use a law on the books to immediately rein in and ban the kid-friendly e-cig flavors” that are “helping to fuel a fire of e-cig addiction among New York adolescents.” The announcement noted a recent e-cig warning letter to FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb that was signed by a coalition including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Lung Association among others.

“The craze among kids for e-cig flavors that resemble whipped cream, candy and cookies is not only a bad trend, but it is a recipe for disaster that is fueling an outright addiction that appears to be getting worse, not better,” Schumer said. While the FDA has “begun to move on this epidemic, those actions are slower moving compared to the wildfire spread of e-cig use among kids, and we need to catch up....”

Schumer’s office said several school districts in the greater Syracuse area have recently sent letters home to parents warning about the growing use of “Juul” and other e-cigarettes among students. It also noted the Rome school district removed some bathroom doors to combat vaping.

Blake said in the announcement that “the fight against electronic cigarette use and juuling is larger than the concerns involved with the lack of regulation on ingredients; it’s the fight against addiction. Regardless of the level of health risk, the devices are addictive and research shows that addictive personalities will seek a greater addiction in the future. We need to stop providing our children access to addiction.”

Blake added on Twitter that he was honored to represent the school district with Schumer “in support of legislation and regulation for electronic cigarettes and products associated with them.” He said “these devices are more dangerous than most people realize,” and urged people to “educate yourself and community so our children are safer.”