A series of bipartisan lawmakers announce they will form a caucus in an effort to combat what they dub the “epidemic” of youth vaping.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman Peter King, and Senator Dick Durbin led a group of at least 15 lawmakers in the launch on Thursday.
Krishnamoorthi weighed in on the crisis saying, “Among high schoolers, e-cigarette use rose by 80 percent in 2018 alone. E-cigarettes are used by 28 percent of high schoolers and, astonishingly, 5 percent of middle schoolers.”
He continued by saying, “According to the CDC, nicotine harms youth brain development, reduces the attention span and in many cases, leads to future substance abuse.”
This launch comes as a series of mysterious vaping related deaths have plagued the nation, prompting bipartisan efforts to help mitigate the growing threat.
Meanwhile, a series of Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday which, if passed, would tax e-cigarrettes at the federal level.
The bill would also increases taxes on tobacco if it becomes law.
Politicians have recently criticized vaping companies for marketing flavored products claiming this has spurred the increased youth interest in their products.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims there are around 530 confirmed and probable cases of severe lung illnesses tied to vaping across the nation.
At least seven people have died from vaping-related causes as experts continue to investigate the cause.
This comes about one week after the White House moved to ban most flavored vaping products after suggesting they appeal to the youth and have contributed to the surge in kid vaping.