Durbin And Krishnamoorthi Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Create Youth-Vaping Prevention Programs In Schools

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08) today introduced the Providing Resources to End the Vaping Epidemic Now for Teenagers (PREVENT) Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill with Representative Peter King (R-NY-02) that will create youth vaping prevention programs in schools and provide resources to help teachers and administrators combat skyrocketing youth e-cigarette use.

“With more than five million children now using e-cigarettes, the youth vaping epidemic is out of control. Unless we take action, an entire generation of American kids will suffer from a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Today’s bill builds on previous tobacco prevention strategies, helps fund preventive efforts that steer kids away from vaping, and helps those already struggling with nicotine addiction. Further, the bill holds the Big Vape companies who created this public health crisis accountable,” said Durbin.

“Both the CDC and FDA have determined that the sky rocketing use of e-cigarettes in middle and high schools across the country is an epidemic. That’s why we just introduced the PREVENT Act, which would ensure these agencies have the funding they need to combat this public health crisis not at the expense of taxpayers, but the vaping companies selling these harmful products. Our children are not for sale and it’s time we start educating them on the dangers of nicotine addiction from vaping and e-cigarette usage,” said Krishnamoorthi.

The PREVENT Act establishes a new user fee under the Food and Drug Administration, and directs those funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop prevention programs to decrease the use of e-cigarettes on school grounds. The bill awards grants to state and local health agencies and non-profits to carry out such prevention programs, and requires these programs to provide resources to empower youth to communicate with their peers on the dangers of nicotine addiction, provide resources and tools for school personnel to identify and prevent youth use, and launch social media and marketing campaigns to educate students on the health risks of e-cigarette use. Further, the PREVENT Act requires health agencies and non-profits to consult with public health experts, addiction specialists, and school personnel organizations, among others, to carry out such prevention programs at middle and high schools across the country. Finally, the bill requires grantees and the CDC to publish reports identifying best practices so that schools across the country can work in tandem to end youth vaping.

The bill is currently endorsed by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes, Society for Public Health Education, Respiratory Health Association, American College of Preventative Medicine, American Association of Women Dentists, Mariposa County Health and Human Services Agency, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Oncology Nursing Society, American Association of Endodontists, Academy of General Dentistry, Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Eta Sigma Gamma, and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.