Over the course of the past year, the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) has collaborated with a number of physician and public health organizations to advance H.R. 2339, the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act.” H.R. 2339, which was introduced by Representatives Pallone (D-NJ) and Shalala (D-FL) on April 18, 2019, would prohibit all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, increase the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, ban all non-face-to-face sales for tobacco products, and protect kids from the marketing of tobacco products.
H.R. 2339 was marked up by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on February 21 and referred to the full House of Representatives for consideration. On February 28, the House passed the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act” by a vote of 213-195. The AAO-HNS and Partners Coalition will now continue advocacy efforts in the U.S. Senate, where the bill has now been sent for further consideration.
The Tobacco Partners Coalition (Tobacco Partners), through which AAO-HNS worked to advocate for passage of this integral legislation, is composed of more than 50 organizations with the shared goal of protecting public health and reducing the incidence of smoking in the U.S. The Partners are working on a range of smoking-related issues to protect children, youth and adults from the consequences of tobacco use.