Krishnamoorthi, King, and Durbin Launch Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Members of Congress launched the Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic at a press conference with allied advocacy groups and numerous individuals who have been impacted by the growth of youth e-cigarette use. This bipartisan and bicameral coalition of 52 members is co-chaired by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).
“For far too long, e-cigarette manufacturers have illegally advertised their products and profited on the backs of American youth,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “I am honored to launch the premiere forum in Congress for like-minded members, on both sides of the aisle, to work together to combat the growing youth e-cigarette epidemic and to protect children and teens from the dangers of nicotine addiction.”
“Vaping targets kids. It is obvious in this simple fact: five million children are now vaping – an increase of one million kids since last year,” Senator Dick Durbin said. “Representatives Krishnamoorthi, King, and I are launching this caucus because a generation of Americans shouldn’t be lured into a deadly, lifelong addiction.”
“Too often our children and adolescents are being exposed to the dangers of vaping and nicotine addiction,” said Congressman Peter King. “It is imperative that Congress explore means to end this epidemic and ensure the well-being of our youth. I am proud to work with Rep. Krishnamoorthi as Co-Chair.”
“The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strongly supports the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic. We commend Reps. Krishnamoorthi and King and Sen. Durbin for their leadership in creating this caucus and all the members of Congress involved for their commitment to addressing this public health crisis,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “The formation of this caucus could not be more timely as the youth e-cigarette epidemic is worse than ever, with 5 million kids now using e-cigarettes, and the need for bold action is more urgent than ever. We look forward to working with the caucus to support the policies necessary to protect our kids, including a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes and effective FDA oversight and review of these products.”
"We applaud Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Rep. King, and Sen. Durbin for creating the bipartisan Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic. This action is urgently needed given newly released 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey data showing an alarming 27.5% of high schoolers now using e-cigarettes, up from 20.8% in 2018. The immediate removal of all flavored e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products from the market, including mint and menthol, is a critical first step given that 97% of youth who vape use flavored products," said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. "While no one knows all the short- and long-term effects of e-cigarettes, the vaping and tobacco industries are conducting a real-time chemistry experiment, compromising the health of our nation’s youth and putting an entirely new generation at risk for nicotine addiction. E-cigarette manufacturers like JUUL must be held accountable for the role they played in creating the youth epidemic and be immediately required to comply with the laws in place to protect the public. We look forward to working with the caucus to provide education and solutions to this serious public health problem.”
“Our country is facing a public health emergency. E-cigarettes are dangerous and pose an immediate threat to children’s health,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP. “Pediatricians have long been sounding the alarm on these products and now we need our federal leaders to take bold action to keep them out of children’s hands. We must eliminate child-friendly flavors – including mint and menthol – from tobacco products, and Congress has the power to do just that. The AAP thanks Representatives Krishnamoorthi and King and Senator Durbin for their creation of this caucus, and looks forward to working together to reverse the youth vaping epidemic.”
“We commend lawmakers for uniting on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to create the Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “It is no secret that the tobacco industry has long preyed on young people with viral marketing and flavors intended to entice and addict a new generation to nicotine. Now we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and we need bold action from our nation’s leaders to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of our youth. Together we can protect the health and safety of youth across the country and combat the mounting threat e-cigarettes pose to our population.”
“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is grateful that members of Congress are taking action to raise the profile around the skyrocketing rates of youth e-cigarette use,” said Lisa Lacasse, President of The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “It is our hope that the formation of this caucus will continue to build bipartisan momentum in Congress for lawmakers to take action that will rein in the tobacco industry and its marketing of products to kids, particularly given the current absence of meaningful regulation and oversight from the FDA. We applaud Rep. King, Rep. Krishnamoorthi, and Sen. Durbin for their leadership in the formation of this caucus.”
We are so grateful to Congressman Krishnamoorthi for his mission to protect the youth of our country from the predatory practices of e-cigarette companies like Juul and it’s copycats, aka Big Tobacco 2.0. Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes (PAVe) is a national grassroots advocacy organization founded by three moms in response to the current national youth vaping epidemic, the most serious adolescent public-health crisis our country has faced in decades. Time and time again, Congressman Krishnamoorthi has proven himself to be a champion for the families of Illinois and of our nation as he continues to fight these e-cigarette companies and hold them accountable for addicting our nation’s youth.
“The American Lung Association thanks Representative Krishnamoorthi, Representative King, Senator Durbin and the other founding members of the Anti-Vaping Caucus for their timely leadership. Our nation is facing a youth e-cigarette epidemic as well as a public health emergency surrounding vaping-related illnesses and deaths. Congressional action is urgently need. We look forward to working with the members of the Caucus to protect our nation’s youth and the public health.”
“Vaping is a real public health threat. The use of these unproven and untested products continues to rise, especially among our nation’s youth” said Joel Africk, President and CEO, Respiratory Health Association. “We thank Congressman Krishnamoorthi for his leadership in addressing the youth vaping epidemic and hope together we can take meaningful steps toward a tobacco-free and vape-free generation.”
"The Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic is a smart and important step in the critical effort to protect our kids from the harmful effects of vaping and tobacco use, and from the deceptive practices of the vaping industry” said James P. Steyer, CEO and Founder, Common Sense Media. “Along with other important efforts by House and Senate leaders, we look forward to partnering with this new caucus to help educate policymakers and the public about the dangers our youth face from vaping and the vaping industry, as well as to curb youth vaping."
Bipartisan Members of the Caucus: Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senator Dick Durbin, Peter King, Dianna DeGette, Ted Deutch, Chris Stewart, Alcee Hastings, Tom Suozzi, Paul Tonko, Debbie Dingell, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Haley Stevens, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Barbara Lee, Steve Cohen, Jamie Raskin, Rosa DeLauro, Terri Sewell, Angie Craig, TJ Cox, John Larson, Harley Rouda, Nita Lowey, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Jeff Van Drew, Josh Gotteheimer, Eliot Engel, Donna Shalala, Ann Kirkpatrick, Rashida Tlaib, Ben McAdams, Lauren Underwood, Ann McLane Kuster, Mark DeSaulnier, Julia Brownley, Charlie Crist, Grace Meng, Raul Ruiz, Cheri Bustos, Albio Sires, Tom Malinowski, Kim Schrier, Chuy Garcia, Andy Kim, Matt Cartwright, Jim Cooper, Joseph P. Kennedy, III, and Ben Ray Lujan
This Caucus is endorsed by: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Respiratory Health Association, Truth Initiative, PAVe (Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes), American's for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR), Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Action on Smoking and Health, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund (CPTF), American Public Health Association, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American College of Preventative Medicine, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Society for Public Health Education, American Association for Respiratory Care, Oncology Nursing Society, Eta Sigma Gamma, American Association of Women Dentists, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, American Society of Clinical Oncology, COPD Foundation, American Federation of School Administrators, American Dental Association, American Student Dental Association, United States Public Interest Research Group, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, American Society of Clinical Oncology, COPD Foundation, American Federation of School Administrators, American Dental Association, American Student Dental Association, United States Public Interest Research Group, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Academy of General Dentistry, Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, Common Sense Media, and National Association of Family Physicians