Shifting to stem a vaping epidemic among younger individuals, the House has authorized a bill to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco solutions.
The monthly bill would position new restrictions on the advertising and marketing of e-cigarettes and ban flavors in tobacco products, such as menthol cigarettes. The bill also would location a new excise tax on nicotine.
The Home accredited the invoice, 213-195, on Friday, sending it to the Senate, the place approval is viewed as not likely. The White Household said in a statement that President Donald Trump’s administration opposes the monthly bill.
Supporters stated the legislation delivers a complete method to reverse a teenager vaping epidemic that officials fear is hooking a era of young people today on nicotine. In the most current government study, additional than one in four higher college pupils noted working with e-cigarettes in the former thirty day period. Late last year, Congress authorized a law increasing the minimum age to buy all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 nationwide.
Opponents stated the Household monthly bill went way too considerably, noting that the new law boosting the age of tobacco use has been in effect for only two months.
Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus stated banning menthol cigarettes could hurt black people who smoke. African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes at a much greater charge than the rest of the U.S. populace, in accordance to the federal Centers for Disease Command and Avoidance. Marketing and advertising and marketing of menthol cigarettes is heavily specific toward black people who smoke.
“White adult people who smoke would see minimal difference in their lives following this ban, though black smokers could encounter even far more sweeping harassment from regulation enforcement if the trace of menthol smoke can justify a quit” by a police officer, stated Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.
“A ban that targets menthol products but ignores other top quality tobacco goods unduly burdens the black local community,” said Clarke, whose Brooklyn district is vast majority African American.
Clarke invoked Eric Garner, a black New York gentleman who died immediately after being place in a chokehold by law enforcement officers who stopped him for offering unfastened, untaxed cigarettes.
“As Eric Garner’s mother is familiar with all way too nicely, in New York a solitary cigarette can turn into a loss of life sentence,” Clarke mentioned.
Supporters reported the Dwelling monthly bill would have massive well being advantages for young adults who significantly use e-cigarettes and vape items with flavors this sort of as mango, bubble gum and cotton sweet.
E-cigarettes are battery-run gadgets that ordinarily heat a flavored nicotine remedy into an inhalable aerosol. They have been pitched to grown ups as a a lot less-destructive different to conventional cigarettes, but there is minimal information on their potential to support people who smoke stop.
A lot more than six million American middle and higher school students utilised some variety of tobacco item previous yr.
“Tobacco companies will not give up, but we will not, possibly,” said Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., a previous Well being and Human Products and services secretary who co-sponsored the invoice.
Vaping “is the general public overall health disaster of the 21st century,” Shalala said, incorporating that nicotine exposure in the course of youth and young adulthood is particularly risky. Youngsters who use flavored e-cigarettes and vaping merchandise possible would not have taken up smoking cigarettes with out flavors that mask tobacco’s harshness, Shalala and other supporters claimed.
“It is distinct the tobacco sector has employed the very same tactics that they have applied for many years to hook youthful people today on new variations of their items in purchase to make new clients that will be addicted for everyday living,” claimed Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N-J., the bill’s direct sponsor.
E-cigarette companies these as Juul Labs use “slick item types, glossy adverts and sweet flavors to attraction to young ones,” Pallone explained. The fast increase of vaping has reversed many years of declines in youth tobacco use, he explained.
Some e-cigarettes search like frequent cigarettes or cigars. Some appear like USB flash drives, pens and other day to day items.
Juul Labs claimed in November that it was halting U.S. revenue of its ideal-promoting, mint-flavored e-cigarettes as it struggled with a nationwide backlash towards vaping. The company stopped selling common fruit and dessert flavors in outlets in 2018 and stopped offering them on the net final 12 months.
Rep. Greg Walden, D-Ore., claimed he shared Pallone’s problem about the epidemic of youth tobacco utilization, but he mentioned lawmakers also ought to tackle uncomplicated accessibility to cannabis. He cited the death of an Oregon gentleman who used an digital cigarette containing marijuana oil from a authorized dispensary.
“Denouncing using tobacco tobacco in all forms while embracing the (decriminalization) or legalization of cannabis is at best inconsistent when thinking of long-phrase health outcomes,” Walden claimed.
The White House mentioned in a statement this 7 days that it opposes the invoice for the reason that “it includes provisions that are unsupported by the obtainable evidence with regards to hurt reduction and American tobacco use routines.”
The monthly bill also may perhaps restrict accessibility by grownup e-cigarette users to “merchandise that may well supply a less unsafe alternate” to common cigarettes, the White Household explained.