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senate Bill S. 2519

Should Flavored E-Cigarettes be Banned?

Argument in favor

Flavored e-cigarettes and vape products are too appealing to youth, creating a new generation of nicotine addicts. This is a public health emergency, and banning flavored e-cigarettes — which often cause teens to try e-cigarettes out of curiosity about the flavors — would go a long way in helping stop this epidemic.

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11/08/2019
Anything that delivers the poison called nicotine should be banned as a health risk to the American public.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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11/08/2019
What is the point of making a highly addictive drug more palatable? It’s to get more addicts because $$. Shall we candy coat heroin? No way. If it tastes awful and the nicotine drug addicts still do it, well so be it. Everyone has got the right to kill themselves their way, but no need to make it attractive. PS. If you swapped from cigarettes to vapors, you did not “quit smoking”, okay? You just changed your drug delivery system. You are still taking nicotine. You are still inhaling. You are still filling your lungs with particulates. If somebody switches from crack to powder cocaine, they are still a cocaine addict. So stop the fucking delusional pride. You are still a nicotine drug addict. Because “quitting” means you STOP TAKING THE DRUG.
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Olivia's Opinion
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Today at 4:57 PM
They are making young teens addicted to nicotine because they taste good but have chemicals in them with unknown health effects. The argument shouldn’t be “don’t ban this because cigarettes aren’t banned yet and those are worse”. It should be ban flavored e-cigs in hopes that this will decrease use of tobacco and decrease the tobacco industry as a whole. It takes small change to make big change
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Argument opposed

The vape-related hospitalizations that have occurred in recent months are related to black market products, not vapes generally. In light of this information, this bill isn’t needed. It would unnecessarily punish vape companies and vape users by banning flavored e-cigarettes, harming both the industry and those who turn to e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Sophie's Opinion
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11/08/2019
Legalizing marijuana federally is much more important. Vaping has been around for a long time, counterfeit THC carts with vitamin E and other carcinogens are to blame for sickness.
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Sarah's Opinion
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11/08/2019
If you will ban vape , ban cigarettes as well. I thought liberals were about people having choices and not denying something to them that is not even a drug !
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Jim2423's Opinion
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11/08/2019
We all have the right to chose how we treat our bodies. If a doctor could not convince you to quit harming yourself, well the Federal Government has no right to intervene. And neither does any one else, except someone who loves you.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedSeptember 19th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 2519?

This bill — the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies (ENDD) Act of 2019 — would ban e-cigarettes from containing flavors other than tobacco. It would also require standards on e-cigarettes’ permissible designs and issue guidance for manufacturers to implement such standards. 

Additionally, this bill would monitor the public health risks associated with the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) would conduct a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the health implications of e-cigarette use. 

Finally, this bill would apply the existing tobacco excise tax to e-cigarettes.

Impact

E-cigarette and vape users; e-cigarette and vape manufacturers; e-cigarette and vape designs; HHS; and tobacco excise tax applicability to e-cigarettes.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2519

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced this bill to regulate e-cigarette standards and protect public health by prohibiting non-tobacco flavors and ensuring that electronic nicotine delivery systems are tamper-proof

“With nearly a quarter of high school students vaping regularly, we must take decisive action to prevent a new generation from addiction and serious health risks. Let’s begin by passing legislation which ensures that non-tobacco flavored vaping products are removed from the market and prevents vaping devices from being adulterated with hazardous substances. The ENND Act will address both of these concerns, as well as apply the existing tobacco excise tax to e-cigarettes and use it to launch a public awareness campaign.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) adds

“Vaping companies have hooked millions of our children on nicotine using e-cigarette flavors like ‘gummy bear,’ ‘scooby snacks,’ and ‘strawberries and cream.’ This means massive health consequences for the next generation, and we have to end this addiction crisis. We need to get these flavors off the market. In addition, refillable cartridges are an invitation to hazardous concoctions, and we need to get them off the market too. That’s exactly what our bill does. The federal government should have done this long ago, and we should take these actions now without delay.”

In a video tweeted out by Sen. Romney, Sen. Merkley also explains why this bill requires cartridges to be tamper-proof

“These cartridges that can be refilled are a huge temptation to put in other fluids into the cartridges, like THC oil and THC oil that has been diluted by other substances which can be incredibly risky, and maybe responsible for many of the illnesses and many of the deaths that we've seen.”

Some have raised the suspicion that extra liquids could be added to vape cartridges by either users or third parties unknown to the manufacturers. They have suggested that these additional liquids could be the cause of the severe respiratory illnesses that have sent large numbers of vape users to hospitals.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids supports this bill. Its president, Matthew L. Myers, says

“We applaud Senators Romney and Merkley for working to protect kids from e-cigarettes. Their bill properly focuses on addressing both the lung disease issues and the epidemic of youth use of these products. This is an issue that requires bold, urgent action. We are delighted to be working with them during the legislative process to help find the best possible solutions to both of these problems.”

Pediatrician and medical journalist Dr. Alok Patel points out that flavored e-cigarettes have a very different appeal for youth and non-smokers versus adult smokers turning to vape products as an alternative to cigarettes:

“Adult vapors appreciate flavors in the same way anyone would appreciate variety in a frozen-yogurt store. But also not surprisingly, flavors appeal the most to younger users. Data from the national longitudinal Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, show that 85 percent of current e-cigarette users ages 12–17 use flavored versions of e-cigarettes compared to 63 percent of adults ages 25 and older. The differentiation lies in motivation. Adults users, as advertised by the industry, turn to e-cigarettes to transition away from combustible tobacco. On the other hand, a majority of teens and even adults with no previous smoking history are attracted foremost by the flavors. On this note, one has to wonder if adult smokers who are serious about transitioning sincerely need flavor options such as ‘unicorn puke,’ ‘sweet tarts’ and ‘crème brulee’ in order to make the leap. These flavors may help, but there has to be a trade-off given what we know motivates youths to try vaping.”

The Trump administration announced plans to ban all non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors in early September 2019. In mid-September 2019, First Lady Melania Trump tweeted the latest CDC data on teen vaping, saying, “it’s our responsibility as parents to understand the dangers that come from vaping. Our Administration supports the removal of flavored e-cigarettes from stores until they’re approved by @US_FDA.”

On September 11, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to finalize a compliance policy to prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol. The planned policy would clear the market of unauthorized non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products. Under this policy, the FDA plans to leave tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes on the market for the eight million adults who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking (the FDA has embraced e-cigarettes as a less harmful way for smokers to satisfy their nicotine addiction as compared to cigarettes).

Former HHS Secretary Alex Azar said of the policy: 

“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities. We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.” 

The American Vaping Association has criticized proposals to ban flavored e-cigarettes. In mid-September 2019, the organization’s president, Gregory Conley, said a flavored e-cigarette ban would “remove life-changing options from the market.” Similarly, the Vaping Technology Association (VTA) warns, “if a federal flavor ban is enacted, more than 10 million adults will be forced to choose between smoking again [...] or finding what they want on the black market.”

The vaping industry also says that bootleg, black market THC cartridges, not legal vapes, are behind cases of injury associated with vaping. In a September 27, 2019 tweet, the American Vaping Association wrote that people “are being sent to the hospital because of bootleg contaminated THC cartridges, not nicotine vaping products.”

Some in Sen. Romney’s home state of Utah oppose this bill. Beau Maxon, owner of a vape store in Park City, Utah, says this bill is “irresponsible,” constitutes “government overreach” and would be “intolerable” for his business. 

This legislation has two Democratic Senate cosponsors.


Of NoteAs of October 1, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette or vaping products. These cases covered 48 states and one U.S. territory, and included 18 deaths across 15 states.

All sick patients reported a history of using e-cigarette or vaping products, and most reported a history of using THC-containing products. Approximately 70% of patients were male. Many patients were young, as about 80% were under 35 years old, 16% were under 18 years old, and 21% were 18-20 years old. Patients ranged in age from 13 to 75 years old, and their median age is 23 years old.

While its investigation is ongoing, the CDC recommends that individuals refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly those containing THC, and that vaping products shouldn’t be purchased off the black market. It also suggests that, regardless of the ongoing investigation, youth and young adults shouldn’t use e-cigarette or vaping products.

Preliminary data from the CDC’s annual National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that 27.5% of high school students reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days (up from 20.8% in 2018 and 11.7% in 2017). The three most popular flavors were all non-tobacco: more than 60% of teens who vaped said they used fruit, menthol, and/or mint flavors

Public health advocates say flavored e-cigarettes have erased years of progress in reducing smoke rates among minors, and that they’re getting a new generation addicted to nicotine. They argue that JUUL — which makes easy-to-hide devices with flavored pods in flavors like mango and mint — is a major culprit behind this trend. 

Several states and cities have already banned e-cigarettes. As of September 11, 2019, Michigan, San Francisco, and Boulder, Colorado had banned flavored e-cigarettes. As of October 31, 2019, Los Angeles County, Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York had followed suit.

Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has also pledged $160 million to help enact similar restrictions across the country. 


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / danchooalex)

AKA

ENND Act

Official Title

A bill to protect the public health by prohibiting non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors and ensuring electronic nicotine delivery systems are tamper-proof.

    Anything that delivers the poison called nicotine should be banned as a health risk to the American public.
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    Legalizing marijuana federally is much more important. Vaping has been around for a long time, counterfeit THC carts with vitamin E and other carcinogens are to blame for sickness.
    Like (77)
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    If you will ban vape , ban cigarettes as well. I thought liberals were about people having choices and not denying something to them that is not even a drug !
    Like (50)
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    We all have the right to chose how we treat our bodies. If a doctor could not convince you to quit harming yourself, well the Federal Government has no right to intervene. And neither does any one else, except someone who loves you.
    Like (35)
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    Menthol cigarettes are legal, but menthol vape juice should not be? Cigarettes kill 1300 people a day, but 33 people die to “vape-related lung diseases”, and now everyone is throwing a fit. They’re safer than cigarettes. Leave adults alone. PS. Unflavored vape juice (no added sugar) still tastes like lightly sweetened water (the base liquids are sweet!). So banning flavors isn’t going to turn children away from it. Try again.
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    What is the point of making a highly addictive drug more palatable? It’s to get more addicts because $$. Shall we candy coat heroin? No way. If it tastes awful and the nicotine drug addicts still do it, well so be it. Everyone has got the right to kill themselves their way, but no need to make it attractive. PS. If you swapped from cigarettes to vapors, you did not “quit smoking”, okay? You just changed your drug delivery system. You are still taking nicotine. You are still inhaling. You are still filling your lungs with particulates. If somebody switches from crack to powder cocaine, they are still a cocaine addict. So stop the fucking delusional pride. You are still a nicotine drug addict. Because “quitting” means you STOP TAKING THE DRUG.
    Like (24)
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    No. They should be withheld until the results are in on the youth lung damage issues. If all of the damage is attributable to custom additives of CBD oil and vitamin E, then there needs to be something akin to an FDA monitoring of manufacturer provided vaping mixtures and a re-design of vaping products to make any custom vaping mixtures impossible to use. I do see vaping as a potentially much healthier alternative to smoking that needs some level of oversight and regulation to ensure that manufactured vaping mixtures do no harm by such additives as lung tissue dilators and any lung residual deposited byproducts. Oversight and accountability will be the price that manufacturers will have to pay to keep these products available. I do not see more controls on smoking products or alcohol coming even though they can each be very harmful to any person’s health. If the current lung damaging incidents are in fact due to customized vaping solutions which can be stopped by manufacturer design changes, I see no reason that vaping products should not be regulated in a similar manner as smoking and alcohol products are currently.
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    That is an interesting question. We have not banned cigarettes or alcohol. We need to regulate vaping just like we regulate cigarettes, perhaps increasing fines to kickstart the process.
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    Not until we become adult enough to ban the things that should have been banned long ago. To ban vaping would be hypocrisy.
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    Not until real cigarettes are. I really think this is a ploy to put e cigs outta business cause the tobacco industry is loosing money. Real cigs kill a lot more people.
    Like (14)
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    It’s so authoritarian to just ban something just because it’s not healthy. Why don’t we ban fast food while we’re at it. Take away all my jay why don’t you.
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    Almost 26% of people with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. rationed their insulin in the past year, a rate that is 4 times higher than other people who have the disease and live in other affluent countries, according to a survey from the nonprofit diabetes advocacy group T1 International. There are an estimated 200,000 people under the age of 20 living in the US with type one diabetes. That means we have a population of roughly 52,000 Americans under the age of 20 who are at A SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER RISK OF DEATH THAN THE HANDFUL OF TEENS WHO ARE VAPING. So, could you please get your hand out of the taxpayers wallet and come up with a solution that actually saves lives.
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    Vaping SAVES LIVES! The research on long term health effects HAS BEEN DONE and vaping is PROVEN to be 95% safer than combustible cigarettes! The only reason these bans are even on the table is GREED. Tobacco companies, state governments, and big pharma stand to lose BILLIONS if vaping keeps helping people quit smoking
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    No legislation is going to stop kids from being stupid. Would you rather they go back to smoking cigarettes?
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    Vaping is for adults and the flavors are important to them. Banning a product in the name of childre (when the product is for adults) is the lazy way out of education and the enforcement of laws already on the books to protect children. No ban!
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    Do we care about individual liberties anymore in this country ?
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    Flavors help adults quit smoking !
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    Thanks for the offer, but I’m able to make my own decisions.
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    I do not appreciate being treated like a child by my government. Any politician whom does not understand that this is the government attempting to absolutely overstep its authority will not be getting my vote. That’s my bottom line.
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    Sensible moderation is the key. Government needs to stay away from trying to protect the overindulgent because it’s an excuse for people to take no responsibility and then expect government to reward them for their foolishness.
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