When it comes to legislation and regulations, 2019 has not been particularly kind to the tobacco industry. Flavor bans and Tobacco 21 legislation has dominated the news this year and one piece of legislation first introduced in April 2019 is making headlines again and continues to threaten many manufacturers and consumers of tobacco products.
The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, also known as H.R. 2339, has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health. Introduced by Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), the bill was inspired by the uptick in tobacco and e-cigarette use among America’s youth. Since it was introduced, a lot has happened. Scrutiny over e-cigarette companies and vaping has increased and impacted many small businesses and the most popular manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the U.S., JUUL Labs. This summer, a mysterious vaping-related lung illness consumed the news cycle in recent months. Many states have introduced their own Tobacco 21 bills aimed at raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years in hopes of keeping these products out of the hands of minors. Flavor bans have also been introduced to address vaping and e-cigarette products that appeal to younger consumers.
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