DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Committee on Energy and Commerce
Sent By:
Meghan.Mullon@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsors (126): Barragan, Beatty, Bera, Blumenauer, Blunt Rochester, Bonamici, Brownley, Carson, Cartwright, Case, Casten, Castro, Chu, Cicilline, Cisneros, Clay, Cohen, Cox, Craig, Cummings, Davis (IL), Davis (CA), Dean, Demings, DeSaulnier,
Deutch, Dingell, Engel, Espaillat, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Foster, Garcia (IL), Garcia (TX), Gomez, Gottheimer, Grijalva, Haaland, Hastings, Hayes, Heck, Hill, Houlahan, Holmes Norton, Huffman, Jackson Lee, Jeffries, Johnson (TX), Kelly (IL), Kennedy,
Khanna, Kildee, Kilmer, Kim, King (NY), Kirkpatrick, Krishnamoorthi, Kuster, Langevin, Larsen, Larson, Lawrence, Lawson, Lee, Levin (MI), Levin (CA), Lewis, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowey, Lujan, Malinowski, Maloney (NY-18), Matsui, McBath, McCollum, McNerney,
Meng, Moore, Mucarsel-Powell, Nadler, Napolitano, Neguse, Norcross, Pappas, Payne, Phillips, Pingree, Plaskett, Pocan, Porter, Pressley, Quigley, Raskin, Rice (NY), Rose, Rouda, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Rush, Ryan, Sanchez, Sarbanes, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Schrier,
Serrano, Sewell, Shalala, Slotkin, Soto, Speier, Stevens, Suozzi, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson (MS), Thompson (CA), Tlaib, Tonko, Trone, Underwood, Vargas, Wasserman Schultz, Waters, Watson Coleman. 

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to join as a cosponsor of H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, legislation that recently passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and will address the sharp rise in use of tobacco
and e-cigarette products among young people.

Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood.  The proliferation of slick new products and flavors purposefully designed to appeal to young people is rapidly undoing years of progress in bringing down tobacco use rates.  From 2017 to 2019,
e-cigarette use more than doubled among high school students (from 11.7 percent to 27.5 percent) and tripled among middle school students (from 3.3 percent to 10.5 percent).  The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act addresses
the sharp rise in use of tobacco and e-cigarette products among young people.

More than 75 groups have endorsed this legislation, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the NAACP. 

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

“This bill is urgently needed as the youth e-cigarette epidemic is getting worse every day and it is being driven by flavored products. The latest data shows that 5.3 million kids now use e-cigarettes, including more than 1 in 4 high school students. Nearly
all youth e-cigarette users use flavored products, and most cite flavors as a key reason for their use.  Congressional action is especially needed since the Trump Administration has backed off its own plan to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes in the
face of intense special interest lobbying.”

Specifically, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, as amended, is a comprehensive solution to ensure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will effectively respond to the youth tobacco epidemic by: 

  • Prohibiting the manufacture and sale of all flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol within one year; and removing all flavored e-cigarettes from the market within 30 days;
  • Requiring FDA to extend marketing and advertising restrictions that currently apply to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to other tobacco products as well;
  • Making it unlawful to market, advertise, or promote e-cigarette products to individuals under 21 years of age;
  • Directing FDA to prohibit non-face-to-face sales of certain tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories;
  • Providing FDA with authority to collect user fees from all classes of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and increasing the annual user fees collected for tobacco products by $100 million;
  • Requiring the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue an annual report to Congress on the domestic sales, advertising, and promotional activities of cigarette, cigar, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarette manufacturers;
  • Investing in grants for outreach and education for evidence-based smoking cessation programs for individuals in medically underserved communities, including among racial and ethnic minorities.

We cannot stand by while tobacco companies entice a new generation of young people into a lifetime of nicotine addiction and preventable death.  Congress must pass comprehensive legislation that provides FDA with the tools and resources needed to
respond to this emerging public health crisis.

If you have any questions or would like to sign on as a co-sponsor, please contact Jacquelyn Bolen with the Energy and Commerce Committee at jacquelyn.bolen@mail.house.gov.

 

                                                              Sincerely,

 

                                                              Frank Pallone, Jr.

                                                              Chairman

                                                              Committee on Energy and Commerce

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