Peoria – Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) convened a roundtable on the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping today, bringing together representatives from Peoria Schools, the Peoria County Health Department, OSF Health Care and members of the community that have been impacted.
“From our smallest towns to our biggest cities, teen vaping is a scourge and we must take action,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Vaping illness rates in Illinois have soared. That’s why I convened today’s roundtable in Peoria – where a teen was hospitalized just last year – and have introduced legislation to help the FDA enforce the law, educate the public and regulate vaping companies. The health and wellbeing of our children must be our top priority and this bill will increase prevention and awareness.”
Recently, Congresswoman Bustos introduced the bipartisan Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act that would allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct stronger oversight of the e-cigarette industry and increase awareness of the danger of e-cigarettes.
Currently, the FDA assesses and collects fees from tobacco and cigarette producers, which funds regulation and oversight. However, vaping and e-cigarette manufacturers are excluded from the FDA’s fee assessment. This legislation would reverse that and allow the FDA to additionally collect fees from vaping companies, which will support prevention and youth awareness efforts.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette use among high school students rose from 1.5 percent of students in 2011 to 27.5 percent of students in 2019. As of February 4th, the CDC is investigating 2,752 cases of severe respiratory illness tied to vaping in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories. Illinois ranks among the top two states in the nation on the number of reported cases, and is tied for the highest number of deaths.
In Peoria, an 18-year-old teen was hospitalized in September of 2019, after years of vaping.
“Although the manufacturers of these products would have you think differently, e-cigarette use is not glamorous and poses a health hazard to youth nationwide,” said Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, superintendent of Peoria Public Schools. “We want our students, families and community to be well-informed around the dangers of e-cigarette use, and we will continue to push proactive education on the topic. If individuals are in need of support, we encourage them to reach out to a caring adult in our buildings and we will provide that support.”
This is the second of two roundtables focused on teen vaping that Congresswoman Bustos has hosted. Last month, the Congresswoman held the first local roundtable on the issue in Moline.
The Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act would enforce, educate and regulate by doing the following:
- Enforce: Authorize the FDA to collect user fees from all manufacturers of products that have been deemed as tobacco products by FDA, including e-cigarettes. The amount collected from individual e-cigarette manufacturers will be proportional to their share of the overall tobacco market, as determined by FDA.
- Educate: Allow the FDA to use this additional revenue from e-cigarette user fees to help support efforts to educate youth on the dangers of e-cigarettes, enforce regulations and conduct safety reviews on products.
- Regulate: Increase the total amount that will be collected in tobacco user fees by $100 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and indexes that amount to inflation for future years.
Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME).