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Senator Collins, Bipartisan Group Introduce Bill to Increase Resources to Combat the Youth Vaping Crisis

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced the introduction of the Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act, bipartisan legislation that would protect children from the dangers of e-cigarettes by requiring 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 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.

In 2022, Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, authored a provision in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations package that clarified the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ability to regulate products containing synthetic nicotine as tobacco products. Nicotine that can be chemically synthesized in a laboratory—rather than derived from tobacco—arguably fell outside of FDA’s statutory definition of a tobacco product prior to this change and contributed to the explosion of youth use of vaping devices.

The Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act is co-led by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). The bill is endorsed by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.