In the United States, the so-called "epidemic" of e-cigarette use by young people continues to give rise to new bills. Mitch McConnell, leader of the U.S. Senate majority, on Thursday announced plans to introduce a bill to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 on vaping products. The aim would obviously be to reduce “epidemic” consumption among adolescents.
A NEW BILL FOR THE MONTH OF MAY!
« For some time now, I have heard of parents witnessing an unprecedented surge in vaping among their teenage children… (…) Unfortunately, it is reaching epidemic levels in the country."The Republican Senator from Kentucky said in a statement.
The proposal Mitch McConnell comes as most states and cities in the United States have moved to raise the legal purchase age for tobacco and e-cigarettes. According to a 2015 study by the National Academy of Medicine, raising the legal minimum age to 21 would prevent 223 premature deaths.
So far, 12 states have passed laws to raise the minimum age to 21, including New Jersey and California. Lawmakers in New York State and Maryland have also approved legislation.
In a statement, the group's CEO Altria, Howard Willard, said the company " strongly supported McConnell's decision, calling it " most effective action to reverse the rising rates of e-cigarette use among minors" page (in French).
Electronic cigarette manufacturers are already under pressure from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which announced plans in March to curb the use of devices that include nicotine in adolescents.
The Altria group has been a major contributor to Mitch McConnell's campaigns, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks the evolution of political investments. Indeed, McConnell received 31 900 dollars for his election campaign from Altria.