Cornyn Bill Blocking E-Cigarette Sales to Children Passes the Senate
Recently my bipartisan bill to block online sales of electronic cigarettes to children, the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, passed the Senate. Excerpts of my remarks about the bill are below, and video of my remarks can be found here.
It's been long in coming, but finally the Senate has now passed legislation that requires the same proof of age requirement that is needed for tobacco products for e-cigarettes and vaping products, particularly those that are sold over the internet.
Last December, I met a 16-year-old young woman named Anna Carey, who is one of my personal heroes. She was one of the students at her high school who became addicted to e-cigarettes.
She started seeing symptoms that are uncommon in an otherwise healthy teenager. She became extremely lethargic. She had experienced random and severe chest pain. Two initial x-rays came back clear so her doctors released her, but her health struggles continued… Eventually, she was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with chemical-induced pneumonia in both of her lungs. Well, I'm glad to report that she has fully recovered and is now using her story to prevent more teens from going down the same path.
This legislation would put the same safeguards for e-cigarettes as traditional cigarettes purchased online.
So for those who think that we never can do anything on a bipartisan basis – that we can't pass laws because we're hopelessly polarized and dysfunctional— maybe this will provide some source of encouragement to the American people, but also demonstrate that we are doing our best to try to protect children's health, particularly against addictive substances that are delivered through e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act would require e-cigarette online retailers to:
- Verify the age of customers for all purchases.
- Require an adult with ID to be present for delivery.
- Label shipping packages to show they contain tobacco products.
- Comply with all state and local tobacco tax requirements.