Statement: State House passes vital new bill to combat youth tobacco use

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Statement: State House passes vital new bill to combat youth tobacco use

BOSTON — By an overwhelming majority 126-31, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a critical bill today aimed at stemming the youth vaping epidemic. “An Act to Modernize Tobacco Control” (H 4183) would ban flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and chewing tobacco. It’s a critical step to protect youth because four out of five kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

The bill also taxes tobacco vaping products at the same rate as cigarettes, increases retailer fines for sales to minors, and provides for insurance-covered cessation tools.

MASSPIRG Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings released the following statement on the act’s passage by the Massachusetts House of Representatives:

“The legislation, championed by Speaker Robert DeLeo, Reps. Aaron Michlewitz, John Mahoney, Chynah Tyler, Danielle Gregoire, Marjorie Decker, Hannah Kane and so many others, is among the strongest in the nation to address youth tobacco use.

“Vaping is proving that history can repeat itself when it comes to youth tobacco use. But Massachusetts’ House is showing the necessary leadership to fight this scourge. The critical reforms in this bill are essential if we want to protect our children’s health from the e-cigarette epidemic that is currently choking our country. We now hope the Senate will take up and adopt the bill next week.”