WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), today released the following statement after a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on health care legislation was reached. The agreement includes provisions from the Smoke-Free Schools Act and the Tobacco to 21 Act – legislation backed by Senator Romney – to address the youth vaping crisis. Romney has led efforts to reverse this epidemic, repeatedly raising the issue in HELP Committee hearings, meetings with the president, and with the FDA nominee during his confirmation process. The legislative package now awaits consideration by both the full House and Senate.
“While our work is far from finished, I’m encouraged that the health care deal takes a significant step to address the youth vaping crisis by raising the federal smoking age to 21 nationwide and banning the use of e-cigarettes in schools,” Senator Romney said. “In light of last week’s data showing an increase in the number of young people vaping, the Administration and Congress must act further to ban flavors that appeal to kids and prevent vaping cartridges from being adulterated with harmful substances.”
- Senator Romney recently participated in a White House meeting on the vaping epidemic with the President, industry representatives, and health advocates where he urged action to ban flavors that entice youth.
- At Dr. Hahn’s confirmation hearing, Senator Romney urged him to support a flavor ban. He met with Dr. Hahn earlier in the month to discuss the issue.
- In September, Senators Romney and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies (ENND) Act, which would regulate e-cigarette standards and protect public health by prohibiting non-tobacco flavors and ensuring that electronic nicotine delivery systems are tamper-proof.
- In June, Senators Romney and Mark Udall (D-NM) introduced the Smoke-Free Schools Act of 2019 to ban e-cigarette use in educational and childcare facilities.
- In April, Romney helped introduce the bipartisan Tobacco to 21 Act, legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.