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Baldwin, Bipartisan Group Work to Hold E-Cigarette Companies Accountable for the Youth Vaping Crisis

Legislation earned support from the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and a bipartisan group of colleagues are introducing legislation to protect children from the dangers of e-cigarettes. The Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act would require that e-cigarette manufacturers help conduct stronger oversight of the e-cigarette industry and increase awareness of the danger of e-cigarettes. In Wisconsin, 32% of high schoolers have tried e-cigarettes, and 20% consider themselves current users.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a troubling rise in youth vaping and it’s high time we take action to stop Big Tobacco from hooking our kids on nicotine,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our legislation will step up oversight of the e-cigarette industry, prevent our children from using these harmful products, and help reverse the youth vaping epidemic.” 

The Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act increases the total amount that will be collected in tobacco user fees by $100 million and indexes that amount to inflation for future years. Critically, the bill also authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect user fees from all manufacturers of products that have been deemed as tobacco products by the FDA, including e-cigarettes. Currently, manufacturers of traditional combustible tobacco products pay into the FDA user fees, but e-cigarette companies are exempt due to a loophole in the law. The amount collected from individual e-cigarette manufacturers will be proportional to their share of the overall tobacco market, as determined by the FDA. The FDA would be able to use this additional revenue from e-cigarette user fees to conduct safety reviews of vaping products, prevent sales of e-cigarettes to minors, help support efforts to educate youth on the dangers of e-cigarettes, and increase the agency’s oversight and enforcement capabilities.

The legislation is co-led by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill is endorsed by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 

Last year, Senator Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra condemning the delays by the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, failure to enforce the law and take action against companies marketing illegal vaping products, and the harm to children’s health from the agency’s inaction.