On February 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation H.R. 2339 to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol and electronic cigarettes.
The bill, “Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020,” addresses the staggering increase in teenage vaping. According to the 2019 national youth tobacco survey, more than 5.3 million kids now use e-cigarettes; 97 percent of which use at least one flavored product.
“The tobacco industry hooks our kids with enticing flavors, from mango to cotton candy,” said Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, a Florida advocate for the bill and founder of 5,000 Role Models of Excellence.
“The surge in youth vaping is partially fueled by peer pressure and that alone supersedes what is taught at home and schools. Kids see nothing wrong with vaping, and because it’s odorless and parents aren’t aware of their use,” Wilson added.
Leading Black organizations supported the initiative including