On Wednesday, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 3681, legislation that would prevent communities from passing local ordinances to protect kids from tobacco and vaping products. The American Lung Association in South Carolina issued the following statement urging the State Senate to vote “no” on House Bill 3681.
“It is disappointing that House Bill 3681 was passed by South Carolina’s state representatives. This legislation is a scheme of Big Tobacco to stop communities from passing laws that can help prevent and reduce youth tobacco use. If this bill passes, it will take away the rights of cities and counties to pass laws about tobacco and e-cigarette flavors, ingredients, or licensing.
“Teen e-cigarette use continues to be alarmingly high and has created a new generation addicted to deadly tobacco products. The 2019 South Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey reported 30% of high school students currently used a tobacco product. Flavors like menthol, candy and fruit tempt kids to try these products, especially e-cigarettes. It is hard to see why our House members see taking away the rights of communities to do something about these alarming levels of teen vaping is a priority right now.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of good lung health. We can’t lose another generation to the death and disease of tobacco use. The American Lung Association calls on state senators to put South Carolina’s children before tobacco industry profits, and vote ‘no’ on House Bill 3681.”
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