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Pallone on Passage of Reversing Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act

Nov 19, 2019
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act (H.R. 2339), which he originally introduced in April, was favorably reported, as amended, to the full House of Representatives by a vote of 28-24.

“Today, we took an important step forward in responding to the youth tobacco epidemic, which threatens a new generation of young people to a lifetime of nicotine addiction and poor health outcomes.  Unfortunately, the proliferation of slick new products with enticing flavors has reversed the historic declines in tobacco use among young people, which is why Congress must respond with bold action to address this public health crisis.  Congressional action also became more important when, earlier this week, President Trump walked away from his promise to prohibit flavors in tobacco products that are so popular with our youth.  

“The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act is a comprehensive approach to end this epidemic by raising the minimum purchase age, prohibiting flavors in all tobacco products, banning certain non-face-to-face sales, and protecting kids from predatory marketing.  I thank my colleagues for their steadfast commitment to confronting this epidemic head on and look forward to advancing the bill to the House floor soon.” 

H.R. 2339, the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act,” would prohibit all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, increase the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, ban all non-face-to-face sales for tobacco products, and protects kids from the marketing of tobacco products.

Amendment to H.R. 2339 offered by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) was adopted by voice vote:

  • The amendment increases civil penalties applicable to retailers for certain violations of restrictions on the sale and distribution of tobacco products. The amendment also requires a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the relationship between e-cigarettes and tobacco cessation, the harmful effects of e-cigarettes, and the effects of secondhand exposure to smoke from e-cigarettes.

Managers Amendment to H.R. 2339 by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) was adopted by a vote of 29-24.

  • The amendment makes changes to the underlying bill to clarify how FDA should collect increased user fees for tobacco products based on technical assistance from FDA. The amendment also clarifies that certain cigars shall be excluded from the prohibition of remote sales, requires FDA establish age verification procedures for remote sales of such certain cigars, and exempts such certain cigars from premarket review by FDA. The amendment also clarifies that the Secretary shall withdraw the exemption if the Secretary determines that the cigar products resulted in an emerging public health threat or identifies a rise in the use of these products. It requires the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a study on the public health impact of this exemption and the youth usage and market share of these products. Finally, the amendment clarifies that no individual who purchases or possesses for consumption a flavored tobacco product shall be subject to criminal penalties under the Act for such purchase or possession, nor shall it be used as justification to stop, search, or conduct any other investigative measure against any individual.

Amendment to H.R. 2339 offered by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) was adopted by voice vote.

  • Requires FDA to establish final regulations concerning recordkeeping for tracking and tracing tobacco products in order to monitor the movement of such products from the point of manufacture through distribution to retail outlets to assist in investigating potential illicit trade, smuggling, or counterfeiting of tobacco products.

Amendment to H.R. 2339 offered by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) was adopted by voice vote.

  • Requires FDA to provide educational materials for health care providers, members of the public, and law enforcement officials regarding the authority of FDA to regulate tobacco products, FDA’s enforcement tools and processes, the public health impact of tobacco products, and other information.