The vaping industry is bracing for impact, a frontal attack from Congress.
A long-time vaping opponent, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) is plotting to eliminate e-liquid flavors and levy new taxes. DeLauro sponsored a House bill, titled the “Youth Prevention Act,” and publicly introduced it Tuesday, Jan. 8, at a school in New Haven, Conn., according to wtnh.com.
The bill focuses on flavors and if it cannot be proven the specialty e-liquids do not “increase youth initiation,” they could soon find themselves on a federal endangered species list. The bill goes on to insist vape products must prove they helps smokers quit traditional cigarettes. (Vaping companies surely will have to retain top-dollar lawyers for any chance at winning those cases against the feds.)
The bill also threatens to deny vapor devices and products from being shipped via the U.S. Postal Service and add additional federal excise taxes. The new taxes would put e-products at the same level of cigarettes, which, brace yourself, would be a considerable hike.
One thing’s for sure, DeLauro is serious about expanding the anti-vaping legislation she proposed in 2015.
Convinced some vaping companies are intentionally targeting minors with familiar fruity flavors, DeLauro explained her actions at the New Haven school, the New Haven Independent reported.
“That is what we call a marketing tool. That’s what makes it fun. It says, ‘Hey, this is great. It’s cotton candy, gummi bears’ or whatever. It is directly a marketing tool to all of you.”
DeLauro told local TV station WTNH she was determined to keep minors from vaping.
“It’s a different issue for adults, but what we’ve looked at in the last year is escalating numbers of middle school kids and high school students who are vaping and I would bet anything that their focus group data says this is their market.”
The “Youth Prevention Act” mirrors the “SAFE Kids Act,” bipartisan legislation introduced last year by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.).