Is McConnell’s Concession On Smoking Age A Trojan Horse? Advocates Worry He’ll Use It To Block More Effective Legislation
"The industry is positioning tobacco 21 as the only thing that needs to be done on tobacco prevention," but "tobacco 21 needs to be a complement" to other measures, said John Schachter, director of state communications for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Tobacco and e-cigarette giants, who have lobbied against raising taxes on tobacco and banning flavored products popular with teens, enthusiastically back the idea of raising the smoking age. Meanwhile, Juul deploys a lobbying force at state Capitols across the country.
McConnell Plan To Hike Smoking Age Could Be Win For Tobacco Companies
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s push to raise the legal smoking age to 21 sounds like a victory for public health. But anti-tobacco advocates fear McConnell and the tobacco industry may use the bill to block other, more proven measures to reduce youth smoking. McConnell pledged last week to introduce legislation to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, calling it a "top priority" when the Senate returns from recess in late April. The move quickly drew surprising enthusiasm from cigarette and vaping manufacturers, who pledged to throw their considerable weight behind his initiative. (Rayasam, Pradhan and Owermohle, 4/28)
The New York Times:
In Washington, Juul Vows To Curb Youth Vaping. Its Lobbying In States Runs Counter To That Pledge.
For months, Juul Labs has had a clear, unwavering message for officials in Washington: The e-cigarette giant is committed to doing all it can to keep its hugely popular vaping products away from teenagers. But here in Columbia, the South Carolina capital, and in statehouses and city halls across the country, a vast, new army of Juul lobbyists is aggressively pushing measures that undermine that pledge. (Kaplan, 4/28)