Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Hold E-Cigarette Companies Accountable for the Youth Vaping Crisis
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is leading the bipartisan re-introduction of legislation to protect children from the dangers of e-cigarettes. The Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act would require that e-cigarette manufacturers pay user fees to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help conduct stronger oversight of the e-cigarette industry and increase awareness for the danger of e-cigarettes. The legislation is co-led by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill is endorsed by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“E-cigarettes continue to be an epidemic among our youth, and it’s unacceptable that manufacturers continue to market their harmful products to young people without facing serious consequences,” said Senator Shaheen. “That’s why I’m leading bipartisan legislation to respond to this crisis by closing a major loophole that has allowed them to avoid paying fees to the FDA to help fund the agency’s crackdown on youth vaping. There’s no excuse not to act – we must stop this exploitation of kids and teens before another generation falls victim to the nicotine addiction epidemic.”
“We’ve all seen the statistic that teenage e-cigarette consumption has increased by 1,800% in just the last year, but it really hits home when you see more and more kids using vapes at school, at malls, even just walking down the street,” said Senator Murkowski. “This bill will expand FDA’s authority to collect user fees on e-cigarette producers and put that money towards increasing youth awareness of its dangers and preventing sales of e-cigarettes to minors. This effort is all about protecting the health of our kids.”
“Big Tobacco has hooked millions of kids on e-cigarettes, creating a vaping epidemic that is threatening the next generation with a lifetime of nicotine addiction,” said Senator Durbin. “FDA needs to remove these dangerous and addictive products from the shelves, and Congress needs to pass the Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act to help provide FDA with additional resources to better regulate this market. The health of our children cannot wait any longer.”
“Illicit vaping products—over 90% of which come from China—have flooded the United States vaping market. Most concerning is that these Chinese products target young people with flavors such as blue cotton candy and pink lemonade and are designed to deliver stronger nicotine levels at a higher volume,” said Senator Romney. “By granting the FDA the authorization to collect user fees on e-cigarettes, our legislation will further efforts to tackle the vaping crisis and protect children from these increasingly addictive and illicit products.”
“In recent years, we’ve seen a troubling rise in youth vaping and it’s high time we take action to stop Big Tobacco from hooking our kids on nicotine,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our legislation will step up oversight of the e-cigarette industry, prevent our children from using these harmful products, and help reverse the youth vaping epidemic.”
“The use of e-cigarettes by our young people threatens the progress we have made to reduce overall tobacco use. I have heard from teachers across Maine about the issue of vaping in our high schools and middle schools,” said Senator Collins. “Despite the significant strides we've taken, which have already made a difference by reducing the nationwide rate of high school vaping in 2023, there is still more work to be done. This legislation would impose fees on e-cigarette manufacturers similar to fees for other tobacco products, which could be used to support youth education and prevention initiatives.”
The Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act increases the total amount that will be collected in tobacco user fees by $100 million and indexes that amount to inflation for future years. Critically, the bill also authorizes FDA to collect user fees from all manufacturers of products that have been deemed as tobacco products by FDA, including e-cigarettes. Currently, manufacturers of traditional combustible tobacco products pay into FDA user fees, but e-cigarette companies are exempt due to a loophole in the law. The amount collected from individual e-cigarette manufacturers will be proportional to their share of the overall tobacco market, as determined by FDA. FDA would be able to use this additional revenue from e-cigarette user fees to conduct safety review of vaping products, prevent sales of e-cigarettes to minors, help support efforts to educate youth on the dangers of e-cigarettes and increase the agency’s oversight and enforcement capabilities.
Senator Shaheen has prioritized efforts in the Senate to tackle the youth vaping crisis. She repeatedly pressed the Trump administration to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market and to stop delaying action in implementing the planned restrictions on flavored products. Shaheen has focused on closing the FDA’s user fee loophole for e-cigarettes since early 2019, when she first introduced the legislation to require e-cigarette companies to pay fees to the FDA to help fund federal prevention and enforcement efforts. She’s also held multiple meetings with students, educators, law enforcement and health officials across the state about the ongoing public health concern. She 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. Shaheen and Murkowski also helped introduce the E-Cigarette Device Standards Act, 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.