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Mucarsel-Powell Praises Passage Of Anti-Youth Vaping Legislation

Press Release

Date: Feb. 28, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) praised passage of H.R. 2339, the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the YouthTobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, comprehensive legislation to protect children and young people from the health effects of tobacco use. In 2019, about 6.2 million U.S. middle and high school students are users of some type of tobacco product. More than one out of every four high school students use e-cigarettes, and over 80 percent of children who use tobacco report starting with a flavored product.

"Today, I was proud to vote to protect our children's health from the consequences of tobacco addiction," said Mucarsel-Powell. "It's undeniable that readily-available tobacco products with flavors like gummy bear, fruity cereal and cotton candy are being used to get a new generation addicted. As a mother, I do not want to see more children suffer from tobacco-related illnesses and premature death, and I've worked hard to make sure that does not happen. We must do everything we can to protect our children from the current epidemic."

H.R. 2339 prohibits the manufacture and sale of all flavored tobacco products, prohibits online sales of most tobacco products, and closes tax loopholes to tax e-cigarettes equal to other tobacco products. Additionally, this bill makes critical public health investments in smoking cessation and prevention efforts to ensure current tobacco users have the tools they need to quit.

Last year, Mucarsel-Powell wrote a letter urging President Trump to follow through on his promise to ban flavored e-cigarettes from the marketplace. She also votedfor and spoke in support of H.R. 3942, the Preventing Online Sales to Children Act, to prevent online sales of e-cigarettes to minors by applying the same safeguards already in place for regular cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.

Additionally, Mucarsel-Powell cosponsored H.R. 2111, the Preventing Opportunities for Teen E-Cigarette and Tobacco Addiction (PROTECT) Act, to fund research and state responses to address the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. She also supported the passage of the FY2020 funding package that strengthens efforts to prevent tobacco use and treat tobacco-related illnesses and raises the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.