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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Reintroduces The END ENDS Act To Limit Nicotine Concentration in E-Cigarettes And Mitigate Youth Addiction

May 7, 2021
Press Release
Congressman Krishnamoorthi builds off recent progress in the fight against youth vaping and nicotine addiction with today’s bill introduction

SCHAUMBURG, IL – In light of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s recent success in pushing the Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes, he is continuing his work to end the youth vaping epidemic today by reintroducing the END ENDS (Ending Nicotine Dependence From Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) Act. This bill would cap e-cigarette nicotine concentrations at 20 milligrams per milliliter. The goal of this reform is to make e-cigarettes significantly less addictive and appealing to youth. Recent 2020 data shows that youth “heavy users” of e-cigarettes, defined by high schoolers who reported using e-cigarettes on 20 or more of the past 30 days, increased by five percentage points to reach 39% of e-cigarette high school users. This rise in addicted high schoolers necessitates e-cigarette product reform.

“The majority of e-cigarette users are youth and young adults, who have both been targeted by vaping companies and are most vulnerable to the potential developmental issues associated with nicotine addiction,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said. “Since taking office, I have been committed to fighting the youth vaping epidemic, and setting a cap on e-cigarette nicotine concentrations is a regulatory change that will make these products less addictive. The lack of transparency within the vaping industry has led to the false notion that e-cigarette products are harmless, when in reality the higher nicotine in some of these products makes them even more addictive.”

A 2020 survey found that 1 in 5 high school students had recently used e-cigarettes. Youths and young adults are unknowingly become addicted to nicotine through these products, as a 2018 Truth Initiative study showed that nearly two-thirds of JUUL users aged 15-21 were not aware that these products always contain nicotine. The youth vaping epidemic has been fueled by new technology that allows manufacturers to increase the amount of addictive nicotine. E-cigarettes today are significantly more addictive than the e-cigarettes of years past — the most popular e-cigarettes in the United States contain 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter. Not only that but the JUUL product delivers the nicotine up to 2.7 times faster than other e-cigarettes. Further, according to the CDC, nicotine exposure prior to age 25 can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Adolescent nicotine use may also increase one’s risk of future addiction to other drugs and the use of traditional cigarettes, with a 2020 survey finding that young people who had ever used e-cigarettes had 7x higher odds of ever using cigarettes one year later.

Similar nicotine regulations to the END ENDS Act have already been implemented in the United Kingdom, European Union, and Israel, where capping nicotine levels successfully reduced upticks in youth vaping.

Specifically, the END ENDS Act would:

  • Ensure that e-cigarette e-liquids, solutions of nicotine, and other chemical compounds that are heated and inhaled by e-cigarette users, would contain no more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter.
  • Allow the FDA to lower the cap on nicotine concentration in e-liquids to a minimally addictive or non-addictive level below 20 milligrams per milliliter.
  • Encourage the FDA to successfully replicate international efforts to prevent youth from using e-cigarettes, and to examine other ways to regulate the design and function of e-cigarettes to be less appealing to youth.