In a cross-aisle maneuver, U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, and Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico, sponsored a bill to combat teenage vaping and smoking, according to ladailypost.com.
Hatch and Udall introduced The Smoke Free Schools Act of 2018 to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 5, intending to give local school officials more power to curb the recent vaping surge at campuses across the country.
The ban would effectively prohibit e-cigarettes on school and childcare grounds and secure funding for education agencies to stage educational and prevention programs.
The legislation also intends to link the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By uniting the FDA and CDC, new policies and best practices will be researched to combat the rising vaping use among minors.
Ladailypost.com reported more than two million high-school aged students vaped this year. In New Mexico, where 51.5 percent of teens recently admitted to vaping, the “epidemic” is significant enough to inspire Udall to take action.
“I am proud to join Senator Hatch in this important effort because e-cigarettes don’t belong in schools, and harmful chemicals don’t belong in our kids’ lungs,” Udall was quoted as saying. “These products use enticing flavors and stealthy designs to appeal to middle and high school students, fueling nicotine addiction and increasing their risk of tobacco use. This has lured a generation of kids into vaping and driven an epidemic among young people that’s reached truly alarming proportions. We’ve got to put a stop to this crisis – and that starts in our schools.”
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, The National School Boards Association, and The Society for Public Health Education were among the institutions to publicly favor The Smoke Free Schools Act, according to ladailypost.com.
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