On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a new bill that will further restrict the purchases of flavored vaping and tobacco products. This comes in an effort to cut back on the vaping crisis across the nation that has been described as a pandemic. The bill will ban all flavored tobacco products, not just for products like Juul, but for cigarettes, as well, according to CNN.
The final vote for this bill came to 213-195. It was proposed by President Donald Trump, who initially had intended to ban all vaping products, but in an effort to not destroy this industry, menthol was later made an exemption. This decision was received with some backlash from democrats who would like to see vaping wiped out in entirety.
New Jersey Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., called out the Trump Administration in a recent statement.
“A so-called flavor ban that exempts menthol and vape shops is no ban at all. Unfortunately, the Trump administration caved to industry lobbying pressure and decided to prioritize politics over people’s health,” he said.
Others pointed out that menthol is often used by black smokers, and thus this bill could potentially lead to further racial tension.
“Considering the fact that 90 percent of black smokers use menthol products, menthol tobacco users would live in fear of new stop and frisk opportunities under this legislation, because menthol would now be considered an illegal flavor,” said Democrat Yvette Clarke of New York.
Still others believe that while the youth vaping problem is certainly serious, adult smokers should still be able to legally purchase vaping and tobacco products without these limitations.
Rep. Robin Kelly, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, takes a different view. She believes this bill is crucial to the public health of all youth, in particular black youth. It will keep these products out of the hands of those who are underage, thus preventing the grip of addiction that they can lead to.
“This critical legislation will protect young people, especially young people of color, from a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Simply put, prohibiting menthol and other flavored tobacco products will save lives,” she said.
New legislation was called upon after a year of countless stories in the news regarding young people suffering cardiac issues and other health problems as a result of using e-cigarettes, like Juul.
Juul is currently under investigation, not only for the health risks their products can cause, but their marketing strategies, as The Inquisitr previously reported.