Today, six Alabama public health groups issued the following statement urging Governor Kay Ivey to veto House Bill 273.
“Teen e-cigarette use here in Alabama continues to be alarmingly high and has created a new generation addicted to deadly tobacco products, so we need to pass proven tobacco control strategies to protect our youth. House Bill 273 does not adequately update our tobacco control laws to restrict youth access to tobacco, including e-cigarettes, and reduce youth use.
“This proposed bill does increase the age of sale to 21 for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to comply with the federal law, however it misses the opportunity to update critical tobacco control measures including improvements to e-cigarette and nicotine product definitions, strengthening tobacco retailer licensing provisions, and repealing youth penalties. Without these important revisions, this bill will not prevent unlawful sales or reduce youth tobacco use in Alabama.
“HB 273 specifically limits the regulation of e-cigarettes to those containing nicotine while striking language referring to ‘whether or not the liquid contains nicotine.’ This categorization places an impossible burden on the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to attempt to differentiate between non-nicotine and nicotine electronic cigarettes. ALEA is unable to rely on the tobacco and e-cigarette industry to tell the truth given their history of lying about whether their products contained nicotine. This is bad public health policy and will present many challenges and loopholes for the tobacco industry to capitalize on as they continue to addict youth and young adults to tobacco.
“We urge Governor Ivey to veto House Bill 273 and look forward to working with Alabama lawmakers to create proven tobacco control policies.”
Alabama Citizen’s Action Program (ALCAP)
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.