APHA Applauds Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019

A focus on prevention can save lives

Washington, D.C., April 16, 2019 – The American Public Health Association applauds Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., for introducing the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019. This legislation is a major step to address tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

“While we’ve made great progress in the last century in reducing tobacco use, that progress is now threatened by a new wave of tobacco products aimed at our youth,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD. “We know the key to ending the tobacco epidemic is working to make sure youth never start using it. I am grateful to Reps. Pallone and Shalala for taking this important step for public health.”

The legislation would raise the minimum purchasing age for all tobacco products to 21 years old. It would also ban all flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes and prohibit all online sales of e-cigarettes. The bill would also create advertising and sales parity for all tobacco products and expedite the timeline for graphic warning compliance. These policies will push back against the tide of industry marketing and new products aimed at young consumers.

For more information on public health and tobacco, please visit APHA’s tobacco topics and issues page.