Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to Energy and Commerce Committee reporting H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act:
“The American Lung Association thanks Chairman Frank Pallone (NJ) for his tremendous leadership in ushering HR 2339 through the Energy and Commerce Committee. Chairman Pallone’s legislation is what is needed to stop the youth vaping epidemic in the U.S. The American Lung Association is proud to be a strong supporter of this bill. Among other key provisions, the legislation will prohibit flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. It will also raise the minimum age of sale to 21, and prohibit the online sale of e-cigarettes, and almost all other tobacco products.
“The Committee reporting HR. 2339 comes at an especially important time, as press reports suggest the White House has done an about-face on its plan to clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes. High school youth use of e-cigarettes now stands at 27.5 percent.
“However, the American Lung Association is disappointed with 11th-hour cigar industry efforts that exempt certain cigars from FDA premarket review. No cigars are safe for the lungs and no cigar manufacturer should get a sweetheart deal from Congress that creates a loophole for inexpensive, machine-made cigars that are more accessible to youth.
“The American Lung Association urges the House to quickly take up and pass this legislation."
For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
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, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.