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house Bill H.R. 1498

Should E-Cigarette Manufacturers Be Prohibited From Flavoring Their Products to Appeal to Kids?

Argument in favor

Fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarette products appeal to children, increasing the probability that they’ll use these products to smoke. E-Cigarette manufacturers need to defend their product flavorings’ benefits — and lack of risks — if they want to continue flavoring them this way.

Brent's Opinion
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07/19/2019
My kids get vaping ads on their social media apps while I don’t. They are poisoning children while we don’t even know long term health effects. Nicotine is an insecticide used in greenhouse industry. Shouldn’t be flavoring poison so our children use it!
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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07/19/2019
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 House Bill H.R. 1498 AKA the “SAFE Kids Act” 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in full support of and Republicans the House Bill H.R. 1498— the SAFE Kids Act which would give e-cigarette manufacturers one year to prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the use of flavorings in e-cigarettes to create flavors such as gummy bear, cotton candy, tutti fruitti, and cookies ‘n cream, is: 1) solely to help adults stop smoking cigarettes, 2) doesn’t lead to increased e-cigarette use among teens, and 3) doesn’t cause any additional harm to users. Fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarette products appeal to children, increasing the probability that they’ll use these products to smoke. E-Cigarette manufacturers need to defend their product flavorings’ benefits — and lack of risks — if they want to continue flavoring them this way. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 7.18.19.....
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Jakob's Opinion
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07/19/2019
Although many have said that e-cigarettes have helped them quite smoking, we need to stop encouraging our children to take up this habit at such a young age. Getting teenagers hooked on nicotine under the guise of “smoke free” is quite similar to the tobacco industry’s horrible tactics.
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Argument opposed

This bill would be prohibitively expensive for all but the biggest e-cigarette manufacturers to comply with. Thus, it constitutes a blanket ban on around 95 percent of e-cigarette products currently on the market, disproportionately hurting small businesses in this space.

Steve's Opinion
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07/19/2019
They also appeal to adults, you rubes. Educate the kids about COPD and lung cancer. Make smarter people, not dumber laws.
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Bertrand's Opinion
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07/19/2019
I’m 55. For most of my early 50’s I used to vape. It totally got me off my heavy cigarette habit. And then I just got bored of vaping and I quit that too. I’m totally clean now and in far better health. But I never would have gone over to vaping without the tasty candy flavors. I get angry when I hear about proposals to banish all the ‘good’ flavors as if they’re strictly for kids. Do people think older people prefer flavors like ‘Car Muffler’ or ‘Dirty Shoe’? I believe that vaping is a modern health miracle saving countless people from the horrors of lung cancer. I’m sure that most kids will eventually get bored with it eventually as I did. Government needs to stay out of this.
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Cherie65's Opinion
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07/19/2019
What if adults want the flavor? This is a parent issue. STOP MANAGING OUR LIVES.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedMarch 5th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1498?

This bill — the SAFE Kids Act — would give e-cigarette manufacturers one year to prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the use of flavorings in e-cigarettes to create flavors such as gummy bear, cotton candy, tutti fruitti, and cookies ‘n cream, is: 1) solely to help adults stop smoking cigarettes, 2) doesn’t lead to increased e-cigarette use among teens, and 3) doesn’t cause any additional harm to users.

If e-cigarette manufacturers can’t prove all three of the above claims within a year of this bill’s passage, they’d no longer be allowed to sell or manufacture flavored nicotine products in the U.S.

Given that there’s no public health benefit to smoking cigars, this bill would also ban the use of all flavors in cigars within a year of its passage.

This bill’s full title is the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids (SAFE Kids) Act.

Impact

Youth; e-cigarette users; e-cigarette manufacturers; and the FDA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1498

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced this bill from the 115th Congress to ban the sale or manufacture of often kid-friendly flavors used in e-cigarettes:

“Tobacco use remains one of the greatest threats to our children’s health and we have to do more to protect them from the dangers of e-cigarettes. Most experts agree that the kid-friendly flavors that e-cigarette manufacturers are selling with these products are one of the leading causes of this spike in use among our high school and middle school students. To me, there is no legitimate reason to sell any product with names such as cotton candy or tutti fruitti, unless you are trying to market it to children. If we’re going to address the root cause of this problem, we have to start by banning the sale of these enticing kid-friendly nicotine flavors.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), sponsor of the Senate version of this bill, adds:

“Ask any teacher, parent, or public health expert: E-cigarette use among America’s youth is officially an epidemic. These products have spread throughout our communities, and their popularity among children is due to one factor: flavors that are intentionally meant to appeal to kids, like cotton candy, kool-aid grape, gummy bear, and fruity hoops. I’m concerned that powerful e-cigarette companies are winning the war for our children’s health and well-being. If we don’t want the next generation of Americans to grow up with a lifelong addiction to nicotine – one that could very well kill them – then passing the SAFE Kids Act is absolutely critical.”

This bill’s proponents argue that it’s needed to protect children from the dangers of tobacco use, which is still the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., killing over 480,000 people annually — more than AIDs, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murder, and suicides combined.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is one of a number of organizations supporting this bill. Its president, Matthew L. Myers, says:

“Flavored tobacco products play a key role in causing kids to start and continue using tobacco, and flavors have fueled the skyrocketing e-cigarette epidemic that is addicting a new generation. Prohibiting tobacco products in kid-friendly flavors is one of the most important actions we can take to reverse the e-cigarette epidemic and continue driving down youth tobacco use.”

In an op-ed in The Hill, Dr. Thomas Ylioja, the clinical director of health initiatives at National Jewish Health, expressed his support for this bill:

“Tobacco companies have long known that flavors appeal to young people and encourage tobacco use. For nearly 90 percent of adults who smoke, tobacco use started when they were teens. Now, studies show that the vast majority of adolescents' first use of a vaping product is candy or fruit flavored — they mistakenly believe they are only inhaling flavored water vapor… In fact, the resurgent use of nicotine among teens and young adults has even been rightly called an ‘epidemic’ by the Food and Drug Administration and further proves the necessity of the legislation… The SAFE Kids Act will not only ensure that kid-friendly flavors of e-cigarettes are restricted, but also will give manufacturers a deadline to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that flavored products increase smoking cessation without increasing harm to the user and do not increase youth initiation. By regulating flavors used in vaping, we can begin to impact the use and sale of e-cigarettes to children. This legislation is the first step toward a comprehensive plan that will help limit youth access to e-cigarettes. We urge lawmakers to pass the bill. Together, we can work to protect our youth from the dangers of vaping and prevent future nicotine addiction.”

The Trump administration has expressed its concern about vaping’s effect on children. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, has been an especially outspoken critic of the industry.

In a 2018 study, Dartmouth College’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, in collaboration with Moores Cancer Center at UCSD, UCSF School of Nursing, and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, found that e-cigarettes do little to help smokers attempting to quit, but they do increase the odds of adolescents and young adults smoking. One of the researchers, Samir Soneji, PhD, Associate Professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, said:

“Although the tobacco industry markets e-cigarettes as a tool to help adult smokers quit smoking, e-cigarette use actually only marginally increases the number of adult cigarette smokers who are able to successfully quit. On the other hand, e-cigarettes may facilitate cigarette smoking initiation and confer substantial harm to adolescents and young adults once they are introduced to nicotine.”

Using census counts, national health and tobacco use surveys, and published literature, Dr. Soneji’s team calculated the expected years of life gained or lost from e-cigarettes’ impact on smoking cessation among current smokers, and transition to long-term cigarette smoking among never-smokers. They found that “[e]-cigarettes could lead to more than 1.5 million years of life lost because their use could substantially increase the number of adolescents and young adults who eventually become cigarette smoker.”

In conclusion, Dr. Soneji argues for national, state, and local efforts to reduce e-cigarette use among youth and young adults, especially by reducing kid-friendly flavors’ availability:

“E-cigarettes will likely cause more public health harm than public health benefit unless ways can be found to substantially decrease the number of adolescents and young adults who vape and increase the number of smokers who use e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking. We also need to close the regulatory gaps that make e-cigarettes appealing to adolescents and young adults by reducing the availability of kid-friendly flavors (e.g., fruit-flavored e-cigarettes) and issuing product standards that reduce the level of known toxins and carcinogens in e-juice.”

American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley expressed his organization’s opposition to this bill, saying it’d “constitute a de facto ban on over 95 percent of vaping products available on the market today,” effectively destroying the independent vaping industry. He added that this bill has “little regard” for adult smokers and small business owners in the e-cigarette industry.

Tony Abboud, executive director of Vapor Technology Association, an e-cigarette industry group, also expresses opposition to this bill:

“Our industry will aggressively oppose efforts to ban these life-changing products. We will continue to work with legislators and regulators on common sense regulation that protects the off-ramp for adult smokers these products provide.”

Mark Anton, executive director of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, an e-cigarette industry group, has previously stated that his group shares the goal of preventing kids from using vapes, but doesn’t think flavors should be a target.

In the current Congress, this bill has one House cosponsor, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). There is also a Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) with the support of six bipartisan cosponsors, including five Democrats and one Republican.

Last Congress, this bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Durbin and six bipartisan cosponsors, including five Democrats and one Republican, and it didn’t receive a committee vote. There was no House version.

This bill has the support of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the Lung Cancer Alliance, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Respiratory Health Association, and Children’s Hospital Colorado.


Of NoteThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that although cigarette use by U.S. high schoolers has reached an all-time low (dropping from 28 percent in 2000 to eight percent in 2016), e-cigarette use has increased more than ten times from 2011 to 2015 (1.5 percent to 16 percent).  In 2018, the U.S. saw a 78 percent increase in high-school use of e-cigarettes and a 48 percent increase in middle-school use of e-cigarettes. In 2018, over 3.5 million students in grades six through 12 used e-cigarettes, making vaping products the most common form of tobacco used by teens.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 82 percent of current youth e-cigarette users and 74 percent of current youth cigar smokers said they used these products “because they come in flavors I like.”

Additionally, although e-cigarette manufacturers claim that their flavorings are intended primarily to help adults quit traditional cigarettes, only three percent of adults use e-cigarettes, versus 12 percent of kids. In fact, according to a March 2018 study by researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, for every one adult who quits smoking as a result of e-cigarettes, 81 more children have developed a regular smoking habit as a result of e-cigarettes.

The U.S. Surgeon General reports that much of teen vaping’s popularity can be attributed to the “appealing candy and fruit flavorings” accompanying such devices.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / llcsiren)

AKA

SAFE Kids Act

Official Title

To impose additional restrictions on tobacco flavors for use in e-cigarettes.

    My kids get vaping ads on their social media apps while I don’t. They are poisoning children while we don’t even know long term health effects. Nicotine is an insecticide used in greenhouse industry. Shouldn’t be flavoring poison so our children use it!
    Like (44)
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    They also appeal to adults, you rubes. Educate the kids about COPD and lung cancer. Make smarter people, not dumber laws.
    Like (85)
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    I’m 55. For most of my early 50’s I used to vape. It totally got me off my heavy cigarette habit. And then I just got bored of vaping and I quit that too. I’m totally clean now and in far better health. But I never would have gone over to vaping without the tasty candy flavors. I get angry when I hear about proposals to banish all the ‘good’ flavors as if they’re strictly for kids. Do people think older people prefer flavors like ‘Car Muffler’ or ‘Dirty Shoe’? I believe that vaping is a modern health miracle saving countless people from the horrors of lung cancer. I’m sure that most kids will eventually get bored with it eventually as I did. Government needs to stay out of this.
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    What if adults want the flavor? This is a parent issue. STOP MANAGING OUR LIVES.
    Like (32)
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    I agree with not encouraging kids to vape by marketing ‘kid-named’ flavors. However, I have a big problem when reading the justification for doing this. In the same sentence it is stated that tobacco use is unhealthy and to protect kids from the evils of tobacco use, we need to control their access to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes by definition are NOT tobacco products. As I read this, it could be an endorsement for vaping in lieu of smoking. So, if the sponsors of this bill cannot get the facts straight and make a logical argument, how could anyone possibly support it?
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    The fact is that these flavors just so happen to be flavors that adults that are trying to quit smoking or adults that wanted an alternative to smoking like. When you have a product that can be flavored differently and easily, you’re gonna do it. There’s a reason chewing tobacco is available in many flavors too but cigarettes aren’t and that’s because burning flavors tastes like garbage. The fact that a lot of flavors that adults like also happen to be flavors youths like is a side effect and realistically, the government should have to be the ones to show hard evidence that they are exclusively doing it to target kids... not the other way around. It’s supposed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty isn’t it? Quit trying to over regulate a much safer smoking alternative while cigarette companies still put rat poison amongst many other extremely harmful chemicals in their product. The body has NICOTINE receptors naturally for a reason. Nicotine isn’t a bad substance on its own in moderation. Cyanide, Arsenic...etc that these tobacco products have added to them however are killers on their own.
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    As an ex smoker, used e-cigarrets to quit smoking 3 years ago successfully. The flavors helped with the transition.
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    👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 House Bill H.R. 1498 AKA the “SAFE Kids Act” 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in full support of and Republicans the House Bill H.R. 1498— the SAFE Kids Act which would give e-cigarette manufacturers one year to prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the use of flavorings in e-cigarettes to create flavors such as gummy bear, cotton candy, tutti fruitti, and cookies ‘n cream, is: 1) solely to help adults stop smoking cigarettes, 2) doesn’t lead to increased e-cigarette use among teens, and 3) doesn’t cause any additional harm to users. Fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarette products appeal to children, increasing the probability that they’ll use these products to smoke. E-Cigarette manufacturers need to defend their product flavorings’ benefits — and lack of risks — if they want to continue flavoring them this way. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 7.18.19.....
    Like (14)
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    Although many have said that e-cigarettes have helped them quite smoking, we need to stop encouraging our children to take up this habit at such a young age. Getting teenagers hooked on nicotine under the guise of “smoke free” is quite similar to the tobacco industry’s horrible tactics.
    Like (13)
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    No to HR 1498. Democrats are nasty, vicious, socialist control freaks. Every bad idea they wrap in a blanket of “it’s for the good of the children“. If e-cigarette makers want to flavor of their products then so be it. Democrats controlling e-cigarette‘s flavoring is not an enumerated power in the Constitution. And don’t tell me it’s allowed under the “interstate commerce clause“. Get them the hell out of our lives. Now!
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    This is a Free country. Even though I don’t smoke I believe it should be allowed
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    We know from history that the poison shilling chem-pushers of the nicotine industry will lie, cheat, and steal to get people addicted. They are the definition of dishonest bad actors. The drug pushers need to hook new addicts as the old addicts die off. Lifelong addicts make them more money. Of course they are targeting kids. Anyone under the illusions that the flavors are not targeted at kids are delusional. All y’all adult smokers can kill yourselves all you want but you’re not entitled to endanger other with your drug addiction. No flavors. It doesn’t need to “taste good”. Don’t encourage drug addicts to spread their addiction. What you should know about vaping and e-cigarettes https://www.ted.com/talks/suchitra_krishnan_sarin_what_you_should_know_about_vaping_and_e_cigarettes
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    This should be treated the same as cigarettes. If you’re old enough to vape, you’re old enough to go without candy flavor. If cigarettes were in these flavors, nobody would think twice about this bill.
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    Absolutely; I’m not sure how effective this bill will be, kids will still get to them. Stopping them is the parents responsibility and accountability. #MAGA
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    Ok folks. I am a smoker. I am also a vaper. Although I don’t endorse anyone starting to smoke and/or vape, it doesn’t matter. No matter what anyone says, does or whatever laws they pass if someone wants it bad enough, they will get ahold of it. Where I live it’s illegal to sell or have cigarettes or vape until the age of 18. Guess what? I can come up with a list 2 pages long of underage smokers and vapers.
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    I work in the advertising industry and I can tell you because I briefly worked on a tobacco account that it’s nod nod, wink wink targeted at under age kids.
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    Flavors exist for all people in all foods, candies, etc. So the way this question is phrased is crazy talk. Vaping is already regulated very well—it’s helped thousands and thousands of smokers become smokers. It honestly could be one of the best innovations for public health to combat smoking in my lifetime. Adult parents need to take more responsibility for their children and police them accordingly—vape shops are not selling to underage people, and vape juice manufacturers are not marketing flavors to children — they are marketing to the 18(or 21)+ people that want to finally stop smoking by using a nicotine delivery system that is proven 95%+ more safe than smoking. The government does not need to impede a net public health positive, parents need to do their jobs.
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    Don't make it kid friendly if it's not healthy!!
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    Get rid of Commercial advertisement altogether. If there is any advertisement, it should be Fact-based ONLY. NO glorification of life-style and propagandizing life improvements, such as sex appeal, fitness. And glamorous people consuming the products or resulting from using products or services. Unless you can prove any benefits from using a product or service through actual qualified research, do not allow it to be presented in advertisement. Everything should be backed by research to be presented to the public.
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    Just in case anyone thinks vaping is harmless, this is the definition of ecigarettes: Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine (though not always), flavorings, and other chemicals. As you can see, these are still means by which to entice kids to become addicted to nicotine. All to the tobacco industry's benefit and not the health of their victims/customers.
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