NEW HAVEN, CT—Connecticut Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty today introduced the Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act of 2015. The legislation would ensure that Internet and mail order sales of e-cigarettes are treated the same way as traditional tobacco products.
“Under federal law, if you want to buy cigarettes, rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco, or snuff online, by mail, or over the phone, you have to verify your age, both when you order and when you receive the package,”DeLauro said. “Unfortunately, the law is deficient. It does not cover all tobacco products. People can buy cigars, hookah, and e-cigarettes online, by mail, or on the phone, without facing any age verification requirements. That is why Congresswoman Esty and I are introducing the Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act to close this loophole and keep our children safe from tobacco products in the 21st century.”
“The bill that we are introducing today will continue the progress we’ve made on reducing the use of tobacco and nicotine among America’s youth,” Esty said. “It’s easier and cheaper for children to obtain electronic nicotine and tobacco online. And we need to put an end to these dangerous practices. The same laws that apply to the sale of other tobacco products should apply to e-cigarettes, and that’s what this bill does. This is common sense legislation to promote a healthier Connecticut and a healthier America.”
The Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act would:
• Require online age verification for the purchase of e-cigarettes, hookahs, cigars and related devices.
• Require age verification at delivery of the above products.
• Prohibit shipping these products through the United States Postal Service.
“Youth use of e-cigarettes and cigars has skyrocketed over the past three years, and the internet provides a cheap and easy way that they can purchase these products at the click of a button,” said Gregg Haifley, director of federal relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “Rep. DeLauro’s bill to restrict internet sales of these products to youth would go a long way towards protecting them from the lure of provocative online marketing tactics used by an unscrupulous industry, as well as lifelong addiction to products with disease and death consequences.”
Democratic Congressmen John Garamendi, Bobby Rush and Charles Rangel are also original co-sponsors of the bill.