I am writing to express my opposition to two current bills that if passed, could have devastating effects on the health of teens and youth across Tennessee.
House Bill 705 and Senate Bill 1047 serve to protect the tobacco industry’s bottom line with zero regard for what is in the best interest of our community. These bills would prohibit all future vaping laws and stop our ability to take local action protecting our kids.
Can you imagine local governments being forbidden to regulate the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products, increase taxes on e-cigarettes, and adopt licensure laws for tobacco retailers that sell e-cigarettes? Furthermore, the passage of these bills would perpetuate practices that disproportionately target low-income communities and at-risk youth—further aggravating health disparities.
As a father of grown children, a member of the community watching other parents struggle with this issue, and a heart disease survivor, I find it very alarming that the rates at which youth tobacco use continues to rise. Prior to vaping, we made incredible progress when it comes to tobacco use but, all of the progress has since been diminished due to the accessibility of vaping products to teens.
In a nutshell, these bills would prevent local action by prohibiting communities from passing laws that could help curb youth tobacco and prevent a lifetime of addiction to tobacco.
Together, we need to protect our youth from tobacco companies and vote NO on House Bill 705 and Senate Bill 1047. Ask your House Member to take action and vote no on House Bill 705 and Senate Bill 1047 today.
American Heart Association Board Member