More Support From Health Care Professionals For Tobacco-Free Youth Act

Dozens Of Health Care Organizations Express Support For Leader McConnell’s Tobacco-Free Youth Act, ‘Legislation That Would Help Curb The Rise Of Youth Tobacco Use’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The youth vaping crisis is putting the health of our children at risk. To address this rampant and dangerous new trend, I’ve introduced the ‘Tobacco-Free Youth Act,’ a bipartisan federal bill with my fellow tobacco state colleague, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. Once enacted, our legislation will raise the minimum purchase age for all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 and help protect young people from nicotine.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “McConnell: Teenage Vaping Is A Health Crisis Kentucky Should Be Alarmed About,” The [Louisville] Courier-Journal, 6/11/2019)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “To me, the most serious threat involves the use of vaping devices by teens younger than the age of 18. Too often, 18-year-olds who are still in high school are sharing their vape products with their younger friends. In fact, 1.5 million more kids reported trying tobacco products last year…. [M]y proposal will help keep e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and other tobacco products out of the hands of middle and high school students…. As senators from tobacco states, Sen. Kaine and I recognize our responsibility as parents and elected officials to do everything we can to keep these harmful products out of our children’s hands.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “McConnell: Teenage Vaping Is A Health Crisis Kentucky Should Be Alarmed About,” The [Louisville] Courier-Journal, 6/11/2019)


National Health Organizations Laud The Tobacco-Free Youth Act:  It ‘Will Help Prevent Chronic Disease And Protect Public Health By Restricting Youth Access To Tobacco Products’

10 Health Care Organizations: “Our organizations write to you today to express our support for your Tobacco-Free Youth Act. As introduced, this legislation will work to protect youth from tobacco products by raising the national age of sale to 21. Our organizations are pleased with the growing support for enacting a strong, bipartisan bill that would raise the federal age of sale for tobacco products to 21.” (10 Health Organizations, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Kaine, 5/22/2019)

  • Letter signed by:

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association for Cancer Research

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American College of Cardiology

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America

Trust for America’s Health


11 Organizations of Cardiovascular Clinicians: “The undersigned organizations, representing cardiovascular clinicians across the United States, write to express our strong support for S. 1541, the Tobacco-Free Youth Act….  As the cardiovascular provider community, we recognize reducing youth tobacco usage as a shared goal…. [T]he longer individuals without heart disease smoked, combined with the amount of cigarettes consumed, the greater the damage to their hearts’ structure and function. Finally, e-cigarettes, which have been growing in popularity, especially among minors, are as harmful to the heart as smoking combustible cigarettes…. The Tobacco-Free Youth Act will help prevent chronic disease and protect public health by restricting youth access to tobacco products.” (11 Organizations of Cardiovascular Clinicians, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Kaine, 6/03/2019)

  • Letter signed by:

American College of Cardiology

American Society of Echocardiography

American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

Association of Black Cardiologists

Heart Failure Society of America

Heart Rhythm Society

Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance

Society for Vascular Medicine

Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons


NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PEDIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONERS President Dawn Garzon Maaks: “On behalf of more than 9,000 pediatric nurse practitioners and fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses committed to providing optimal health care to children, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is grateful for your leadership in introducing the ‘Tobacco-Free Youth Act’ (S.1541)…. As you both have said, keeping tobacco products out of the hands of children and adolescents is crucial to enabling them to grow and develop into healthy adults. NAPNAP strongly agrees that raising the age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, is an essential part of efforts to protect and improve public health and to keep these products away from young people.” (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Kaine, 5/30/2019)


Dental Organizations: ‘About 9 Out Of 10 People Who Die From Oral And Pharyngeal Cancers Use Tobacco,’ And ‘The Tobacco-Free Youth Act … Would Help Curb The Rise Of Youth Tobacco Use’

AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION President Jeffrey M. Cole, D.D.S. and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D.: “On behalf of our 163,000 member dentists, we are writing to express our enthusiastic support for S. 1541, the Tobacco-Free Youth Act…. Preventing oral cancer and other tobacco-related diseases have been a longstanding priority for the ADA.... S. 1541 would help prevent tobacco use among our youth by raising the national age to legally purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. It would help reduce the number of young people who begin smoking before age 21, which represents 95 percent of current adult smokers.” (ADA, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Kaine, 5/23/2019)

ACADEMY OF GENERAL DENTISTRY President Neil J. Gajjar, D.D.S. and Congressional Liaison Myron Bromberg, D.D.S.: “On behalf of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and its 40,000 membership, I write to express our support for the Tobacco-Free Youth Act (S. 1541), legislation that would help curb the rise of youth tobacco use by enacting provisions to raise the purchasing age from 18 to 21 for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapor products…. Like you, the AGD is greatly concerned about the impact e-cigarette and tobacco use is inflicting on the nation’s youth population…. The correlation between the use of e-cigarettes and later adoption of smoking is a hugely worrying trend set to undo years of progress in the fight against adverse smoking-related health conditions.” (Academy of General Dentistry, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Kaine, 5/30/2019)

12 Dental Professional Organizations: “The dental professional organizations listed below, as members of the Organized Dentistry Coalition, are writing to express our strong support of S. 1541, the Tobacco-Free Youth Act…. About 9 out of 10 people who die from oral and pharyngeal cancers use tobacco, and the risk of developing these cancers is related to how much (and how often) they use…. Tobacco products are also causally associated with higher rates of gum disease, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions, bone damage, tooth loss, jaw bone loss and more.” (12 Dental Professional Organizations, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Kaine, 6/07/2019)

  • Letter signed by:

American Dental Association

Academy of General Dentistry

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

American Academy of Periodontology

American Association for Women Dentists

American Association of Endodontists

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

American Association of Orthodontists

American College of Prosthodontists

American Dental Education Association

American Student Dental Association


Kentucky & Virginia Health Care Organizations: ‘Kentucky Faces Nearly Epidemic Levels Of Youth Vaping,’ Tobacco Use ‘Is Especially Troubling In Rural America’

KENTUCKY CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY Governor Khaled M. Ziada, MD: “I write to you today on behalf of the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and our members across the Commonwealth to thank you and Senator Kaine for introducing the Tobacco-Free Youth Act. Kentucky ranks second in heart disease and ninth in deaths due to heart disease, while simultaneously having the highest percentage of adult smokers, and lowest percentage of adults attempting to quit. This is especially concerning as Kentucky faces nearly epidemic levels of youth vaping, addicting a new generation to nicotine products as Kentucky attempts to grapple with these very real public health issues…. Almost 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking by the age of 18, when the developing adolescent brain is most susceptible to nicotine addiction. Raising the age to purchase tobacco products will have a measurable and immediate impact on rates of nicotine addiction amongst Americans.” (Khaled M. Ziada, Letter to Sen. McConnell, 5/21/2019)

VIRGINIA RURAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION Executive Director Beth O’Connor, M. Ed.: “On behalf of the Virginia Rural Health Association, I am pleased to offer our support for the Tobacco Free Youth Act. While reducing tobacco use is important in all communities, the issue is especially troubling in rural America…. A report from the American Lung Association noted that 27.8 percent of rural residents smoke, compared to 22.7 percent of urban dwellers. Rural young adults ages 18 to 34 smoke at especially high rates, and are 27 percent more likely to smoke than their urban counterparts.” (Virginia Rural Health Association, Letter to Sen. Kaine, 5/2019)

CHI ST. JOSEPH HEALTH CEO Bruce J. Tassin and Market VP for Public Policy Sherri Craig: “The Tobacco-Free Youth Act will address the nationwide teen vaping epidemic while changing the culture of tobacco dependency…. Kentucky’s youth are at risk, as more than one in seven 8th graders and one in four 12th graders used vapor products last year…. Research indicates that vaping could permanently disrupt the growth of connections within the brain the control learning, cause the brain to be more susceptible to other forms of addiction, and even lead to more complex health issues such as cancer and lung disease.” (Bruce J. Tassin and Sherri Craig, Letter to Sen. McConnell, 5/29/2019)

ST. ELIZABETH HEALTHCARE President and CEO Garren Colvin: “Every day, our hospital is engaged in the detection, prevention and treatment of diseases resulting from tobacco use. We must do more to keep harmful tobacco products out of the hands of our children…. Senator McConnell’s Tobacco-Free Youth Act will help us accomplish this vital goal.” (St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Statement, 6/2019)

HOSPARUS HEALTH: “Hosparus Health strongly supports the Tobacco-Free Youth Act of 2019. This strong legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Tim Kaine represents an important federal policy change needed to address the ongoing public health epidemic from tobacco use in the United States…. Establishing a federal age of 21 for the sale of all tobacco products will help prevent chronic disease and protect public health by restricting youth access to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.” (Hosparus Health, Press Release, 6/2019)



Related Issues: Tobacco 21, Health Care