Casten Statement on Passage of Bill Combating the Youth Vaping Epidemic

February 28, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2339 the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 by a vote of 213-195.

Casten said, “When nearly 30% of high school students self-report e-cigarette use, there is no question that youth vaping has become an absolute epidemic in this country. For years, the tobacco companies have developed specific flavors of e-cigarettes and designed marketing campaigns to get our children addicted to their products, recycling their playbook from the nineties. It is shameful that these tobacco executives have used predatory practices to line their pockets, while knowing full-well that our children are developing serious, sometimes life-threatening health conditions. I’m proud that my colleagues and I have come together to move us one step closer to changing the law in order to protect our children from life-long addictions and severe illnesses.”

The legislation would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, require all flavored e-cigarette products to be removed from the market with 30 days of the bill becoming law, ban marketing and advertising efforts towards individuals under the age of 21, prohibit non-face-to-face sales of certain tobacco products, and make critical investments in smoking cessation and prevention public health efforts.

This bill was crafted in direct response to the youth vaping epidemic that has developed over the last decade. Recent studies have found that more than 5 million youth or 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students self-reported e-cigarette use. Even more troubling, e-cigarettes have been linked to severe lung and heart diseases and have caused numerous deaths and hospitalizations, attributed to unknown vaping-related illnesses.