President Trump last year signed legislation that raised the age of purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. National education advocates see this as only the first step Congress can take to address the youth vaping crisis via legislation.
AASA and NREAC, in which MREA is a member, are working at the federal level to effect more changes to help schools mitigate the e-cigarette epidemic. There are a series of bills currently at play.
Here are three bills to address vaping:
- The Smoke-Free Schools Act of 2019 would ban e-cigarette use in educational and childcare facilities that receive federal funding.
- The SAFE Kids Act would ban the use of all flavored e-cigarette products unless it can be proven that it does not increase youth initiation of nicotine or tobacco products.
- The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act would ban the use of all flavored tobacco products (including e-cigarettes), prohibit online sales of tobacco products and extend advertising restrictions that currently apply to cigarettes to e-cigarettes to prevent marketing that targets youth.
NREAC plans to engage more aggressively in 2020 in pushing these bills forward in both chambers.