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Pallone on President Trump’s Flavor Ban Reversal

Jan 2, 2020
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement today on President Trump’s announcement that his Administration is implementing a partial flavor ban on tobacco products, breaking a promise he made during a live press conference in the Oval Office last year:  

“Today’s announcement from the Administration falls far short of President Trump’s public promise to restrict the flavors being used by Big Tobacco to get a new generation of young people addicted to their products.  A so-called flavor ban that exempts menthol and vape shops is no ban at all.  

“We are witnessing the rapid reversal of years of progress to bring down teen smoking rates, which will affect the health and wellbeing of an entire generation.  A public health epidemic of this magnitude requires bold, decisive action.   Unfortunately, the Trump Administration caved to industry lobbying pressure and decided to prioritize politics over people’s health.

“It is now up to Congress to act.  The Energy and Commerce Committee has already advanced comprehensive legislation to address the burgeoning youth tobacco epidemic, including a full flavor ban, with bipartisan support.  The full House should quickly take up this legislation when it returns.”  

Pallone introduced the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019.  The legislation aims to address the sharp rise in use of tobacco and e-cigarette products among young people, and among other things would prohibit all characterizing flavors of tobacco products, including menthol, bans advertising of e-cigarette products to individuals under 21, bans certain online sales, and extends existing regulations on the sale, distribution, and use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to all deemed tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.  The bill was passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee with bipartisan support and is now awaiting a vote on the House Floor.