SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would delay a final decision on whether or not e-cigarette top sellers – like JUUL – can remain on the market:
“While I am pleased FDA has rejected all e-cigarette applications to date for failing to show a health benefit, it is unacceptable to delay evaluation of e-cigarettes most responsible for hooking children, like JUUL. FDA’s years-long failure to regulate e-cigarettes has led millions of kids who never would have picked up a tobacco product to begin vaping. Each day we wait for FDA’s decision on products peddled by the biggest vape and tobacco companies, more children get hooked.”
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In July, Durbin and Congressional colleagues introduced the Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act, which would hold e-cigarette companies accountable for the youth vaping crisis by requiring e-cigarette manufacturers to pay user fees to the FDA. These fees would provide the agency with additional resources to conduct stronger oversight of the e-cigarette industry and increase awareness of the danger of e-cigarettes. In June, Durbin testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy hearing focused on the role of FDA in regulating e-cigarette products.
In October 2020, Durbin urged the FDA to strongly enforce its own regulations to protect kids from addictive e-cigarettes by publishing a list of products that submitted premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs), and remove products that did not submit PMTAs.
In 2019, Durbin and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to crack down on kid-friendly flavorings in highly-addictive e-cigarettes and cigars. The Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids (SAFE Kids) Act would place strong restrictions on e-cigarette flavorings and ban cigar flavorings altogether.
For decades, Durbin has led Congressional efforts to investigate and regulate tobacco products, especially vaping and other e-cigarette devices. In 2019, Durbin sent a series of letters to JUUL and Altria – which bought a majority stake in JUUL – about its marketing practices and product popularity amongst America’s youth.