The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strongly supports the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 being introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL). This legislation provides the comprehensive strategy we need to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic that is sweeping across our country and to continue driving down youth tobacco use. We applaud Chairman Pallone and Rep. Shalala for their leadership in introducing this legislation. 

The bill's prohibition on flavored tobacco products that appeal to kids, including flavored e-cigarettes, flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, is especially critical to stop tobacco companies from continuing to target and addict kids with enticing flavors. Flavored e-cigarettes have driven the youth epidemic. In addition, flavored cigars have proliferated in recent years and become popular with kids, and more than half of youth smokers – including seven out of ten African-American youth smokers – smoke menthol cigarettes. Prohibiting flavored tobacco products is one of the most important steps we can take to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic and continue reducing youth tobacco use.

In addition to prohibiting flavored tobacco products, this bill includes other strong provisions that can accelerate progress in reducing tobacco use and save lives. These provisions:

  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 nationwide.
  • Prohibit online sales of tobacco products.
  • Extend advertising restrictions that currently apply to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. These include prohibitions on brand-name sponsorships of sports, music or other events and distribution of non-tobacco items (such as shirts and hats) with tobacco brand names.
  • Require the FDA to issue a final rule to implement graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising, as required by the 2009 Tobacco Control Act.

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