SUPPORT HB 1169, the Tobacco 21 bill and vote FAVORABLY with NO AMENDMENTS
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent, I am asking you to SUPPORT HB 1169, the Tobacco 21 bill and vote FAVORABLY with NO AMENDMENTS from the MD Vapor Alliance, Vapor Technology Association, or the MD Retailers Association to help move this bill out of your committee.It's not an accident that e-cigarette use by high school students increased by 78 percent from 2017 to 2018. In addition to selling and marketing products that come in kid-friendly candy and fruit flavors, tobacco companies together with the Vapor Technology Association continue to lobby hard to ensure these products are not regulated by evidence-based tobacco control policies. They know how detrimental updating the terminology and definitions as we recommend doing in HB 1169 will be to their bottom line. Tobacco companies and their allies have created the problem, it would be foolish to trust them to fix it.The rapid rise in the number of youth who use electronic smoking devices or e-cigarettes is a public health epidemic that threatens to erode decades of progress made in reducing tobacco use. E-cigarette use among youth and young adults is strongly linked to the use of other tobacco products, such as regular cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco. And among high school students and young adults who use tobacco, more use both e-cigarettes and burned tobacco products than use e-cigarettes alone. Some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use is linked to alcohol use and other substance use, such as marijuana. And certain e-cigarette products can be used to deliver other drugs like marijuana. The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. With 20.8 percent of high school students now using e-cigarettes, we can't afford to keep the status quo. It's time to update Maryland's tobacco control laws to include and effectively regulate all tobacco products if we hope to prevent another generation from a lifetime of addiction. I firmly stand with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) position, to have all tobacco products, including all electronic smoking devices, to be included in the Tobacco 21 law. Further, ACS CAN recommends defining these products as electronic smoking devices to accurately capture the broad and every growing market of these products and ensure that youth are truly protected. I recommend that this language stays the same in the bill.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]