Senators Introduce New Bipartisan Anti-Vaping Bill(s)
A bipartisan bill to help schools fight the supposed “epidemic” of teenage vaping was introduced in the Senate this week. The legislation was introduced as the “Smoke Free Schools Act,” ignoring the fact that vaping doesn’t involve smoke.
The Smoke Free Schools Act is suppose to help schools find ways to combat the scourge of vaping and nicotine addiction, which the bill’s mentions is a major issue of teens today. The act would address the following concerns
- Specifically bans vaping in schools and childcare facilities
- Amends Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to clarify that e-cigarette prevention is an allowable use of funds
- Instructs the FDA to partner with the CDC and the Department of Education to conduct studies of best practices for schools to discourage e-cigarette use
- Instructs the FDA to study gaps in knowledge of the harms of e-cigarettes among youth, including injuries and poisoning
- Seeks further information on the dose-response association between e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco, and the current efforts by schools to use federal funding to combat e-cigarette use
- Instructs the Federal Trade Commission to consider including e-cigarettes in any studies they do relating to the marketing effects of traditional tobacco
The bill doesn’t seem to accomplish much, except to clear the way for federal funds to be spent on “e-cigarette prevention.” That probably benefits the drug warriors, police, and treatment specialists that have already scored big by creating anti-juuling campaigns and educational presentations for parents and students.
The bill was introduced by New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall and Utah Republican Orrin Hatch. It’s supported by groups like the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National PTA, and the Society for Public Health Education.
The Smoke Free Schools Act is the second bipartisan anti-vaping bill launched this year in the Senate. The first was Dick Durbin’s SAFE Kids Act, co-sponsored by the Illinois Democrat and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski.
The Durbin-Murkowski legislation would require e-liquid manufacturers to prove that their non-tobacco flavors are proven smoking cessation products. That’s a standard no non-pharmaceutical product can meet. Such a law would spell the end of the independent vaping industry.
In related happenings, a letter demanding FDA action on e-liquid flavors was sent by 21 Democratic senators to Commissioner Scott Gottlieb the other day. The lawmakers want what they always want: full enforcement of all components of the Deeming Rule immediately, flavors off the market, and the wishes and needs of vapers and smokers ignored as usual.