Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) is taking the point on federal vaping restrictions.
Aderholt is chasing a way to keep e-cigarettes out of the reach of minors by introducing legislation to increase the legal age to purchase all tobacco-based devices to 21. By raising the age from 18, Aderholt intends to cut into the rising national “epidemic” of teen vaping, according to The Hill.
At an appropriations committee meeting earlier this month, Aderholt reviewed his reasoning behind his actions.
“It’s these enterprising 18-year-olds that are selling to minors,” he said. “Increasing the age to 21 will make it harder for this type of activity.”
Will it help much?
Like the Alabama Republican said, teens can be “enterprising.”
Reaching across party lines, Aderholt rehashed the results of a recent report by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggesting a 78-percent rise in teen vaping from 2017-18.
The bill would also advocate tighter restrictions for online sales, mandating adults to sign for delivered products, The Hill reported.
Similar bills have been introduced in the past, including ones sponsored by Sens. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
The difference this time is Aderholt’s effort marks the first introduced by Pres. Donald Trump’s divided party.
Among the bill’s public backers are vaping giant JUUL Labs, which has been under fire for years by the FDA to tone down its marketing campaigns angled for minors.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who left his post in early April, warned JUUL and the rest of the industry the government would ban a series of “fruity” products if advertisements continue to attract teens.
As the FDA transitions to new leadership, Gottlieb said the agency will study additional data before pulling the trigger, The Hill reported.
If 2018-19 mirrors ‘17-18, Gottlieb concluded: “We’re going to be stepping into the market with additional regulation.”
Remember, teens can be “enterprising.”
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