Press Releases

Rep. Kuster Responds to Trump Administration’s Plan to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes, Announces Support for Bipartisan Legislation to Address Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

Today, following growing reports of deaths from vaping-related lung disease, Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) announced her support for the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, which was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). This bipartisan legislation aims to address the recent rise of e-cigarette use among young Americans. The Trump Administration also announced plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes today in an effort to curb youth e-cigarette use. Additionally, the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing on e-cigarettes on September 25, where Rep. Kuster and her colleagues will have an opportunity to question witnesses from the CDC, FDA, and state health officials about the sharp rise in e-cigarette use among youths and the public health crisis caused by vaping.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an alarming 78 percent increase in current e-cigarette use by high school students and 48 percent increase among middle school students from 2017 to 2018.  According to reports, the sharp increase in tobacco use in recent years could reverse years of progress in reducing youth tobacco use in America.

"It is our responsibility to address the public health crisis caused by the irresponsible youth marketing and design of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Across the nation, hundreds of young people have fallen ill, and tragically, some have died, due to e-cigarette use. The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act is a concrete step towards reducing youth nicotine use and curbing the e-cigarette epidemic," said Rep. Kuster. 

I am glad to see that the Trump Administration has announced plans to help address this crisis by banning flavored e-cigarettes. We must protect our nation’s young people and hold e-cigarette companies accountable for the dangerous effects of their products. I look forward to our upcoming hearing on e-cigarettes in the Energy and Commerce Committee, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to address this public health issue."

The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 includes a number of important provisions to curb the rise of youth tobacco use: 

  • Requires FDA to finalize a rule requiring graphic health warnings for cigarette packages within 12 months;
  • Extends FDA regulations on the sale, distribution, and use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to all deemed tobacco products, including e-cigarettes;
  • Raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 years and makes it unlawful for any retailer to sell a tobacco product to any person younger than 21 years of age;
  • Directs FDA to prohibit non-face-to-face sales of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories;
  • Prohibits all characterizing flavors of tobacco products, including menthol;
  • Provides FDA with authority to collect user fees from all classes of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes;
  • Instructs FDA to issue a final rule on the regulation of products containing synthetic nicotine or nicotine that is not made or derived from tobacco;
  • Makes it unlawful to market, advertise, or promote any e-cigarette products to individuals under the age of 21; and,
  • Requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue an annual report to Congress on the domestic sales, advertising, and promotional activity of cigarette, cigar, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarette manufacturers. 

Section-by-section available HERE.

Bill text available HERE.