Shaheen Hosts New Hampshire Pediatrician for Discussion on Health Risks of Youth Vaping with Senate Democratic Leadership

November 20, 2019

(Washington, DC) – This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted Dr. Susanne Tanski, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s section chief of general pediatrics, at a Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee meeting to discuss the severe health risks associated with youth vaping.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Hampshire has the highest percentage of high school students reporting daily use of electronic vapor products. The Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, on which Senator Shaheen serves as Vice Chair, uses input from experts to develop the Senate Democratic agenda.

“There are thousands of confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses and 42 confirmed deaths. In New Hampshire, our high school students are using e-cigarettes more than their peers in every other state in the nation – this has become a public health emergency that demands action,” said Shaheen. “It’s disappointing that today’s meeting comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s shameful decision to bow to special interests and reverse course on plans to remove most flavored e-cigarettes from the market. I’m grateful for Dr. Tanski’s expert input today on the health risks of vaping on young people in New Hampshire and across the country. Congress and the Trump administration need to listen to the experts and act to address this crisis.”  

Dr. Tanski’s appearance before Senate Democrats coincides with a multi-state vaping education campaign by Dartmouth-Hitchcock entitled, “No Safe Vape.” 

“The No Safe Vape campaign is a significant step forward in the overarching mission to dispel harmful misconceptions about vaping and further emphasize the severity of this nationwide issue,” said Dr. Tanski. “Our young people simply do not stand a chance against the predatory practices of tobacco companies that are contributing to this health crisis. It is imperative that we do our best to help people understand the very serious risks of vaping.” 

Senator Shaheen has prioritized efforts in the Senate to tackle the youth vaping crisis. Over the past year, she has repeatedly pressed the Trump administration to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market and stop delaying action in implementing the planned restrictions on flavored products. Shaheen has led legislation – the E-Cigarette Youth Protection Act – which would require e-cigarette companies to pay fees to the FDA to help fund federal prevention efforts and ensure that the agency has the resources needed to conduct enforcement actions against e-cigarette manufacturers. She’s also held multiple meetings with students, educators, law enforcement and health officials across the state about the ongoing public health concern. In September, Shaheen introduced the No Tax Subsidies for E-Cigarette and Tobacco Ads Act, which would close a tax loophole that allows manufacturers to claim federal tax deductions for the cost of advertising e-cigarettes and tobacco products. She also helped introduce the E-Cigarette Device Standards Act of 2019, which would set safety standards in the design of e-cigarette and vaping devices to prevent the use of e-cigarettes to vape Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—a combination that has been linked to the vast majority of vaping illnesses.