McConnell Develops New Bill to Help Children
This past Monday Mitch McConnell, who is the Senate Majority Leader, brought to the floor a new bill that would raise the age to buy tobacco up to 21.
The effort is receiving bipartisan support as both sides of the aisle are seeing the need for this to be done.
There has been some criticism related to the move of raising the legal purchasing age to 21. But there has been support from both sides for the approval of the bill.
Tim Kaine, who is from the state of Virginia and a Democrat, has joined with McConnell in attempt to see the measure pass.
Tim Kaine has been in support of banning indoor smoking and even other products that can be smoked inside.
The new bill would ban people under the age of 21 from being able to purchase tobacco products.
The bill however would exempt men and women currently serving in the military from such a restriction.
The bill even allows states to continue to enforce stricter rules governing the sale and use of tobacco products.
The bill is gaining support with major organizations such as the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The groups are praising McConnell for the bill’s development.
They are cautioning supporters of the bill to not make special provisions for certain groups of people.
One group, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, was still reviewing the bill before it makes its decision to support or not regarding the bill.
The age range being targeted is thought to be a good age by these groups.
They are asking for more to be done to curve the use of such products by youth around the country.
The CEO of the American Heart Association, Nancy Brown, has stated, “We urge strong bipartisan support for [the McConnell legislation] as written, and we call on lawmakers to reject any effort to add language that would weaken its impact or benefit tobacco companies.”
These organizations see tobacco companies as those that take advantage of the nation’s youth by marketing to their age.
Mitch McConnell mentioned on the Monday that his highest priority is getting this bill approved.
He has stated, “This is not a zero sum choice between farmers and public health. We can support both, we need to support both.
So far this bill has enacted others to start backing bills that target smoking and tobacco usage. The goal is to promote the health risks and get people to not use the harmful substances that they are putting into their bodies.
In the long term less tobacco usage means better health and lower health costs.
Kaine and McConnell have noticed that the states with the highest tobacco related cancers also have the highest rate of smoking cancers.
These are also the states that have a heavy tobacco industry as part of their economy.
The consequences of growing tobacco and using are having a toll on the states. They are seeing the consequences of having such an industry.
Another industry that is starting to show harmful side effects is vaping.
Putting harmful chemicals into the lungs is the worst case scenario for people seeking to improve the health of a people.
The bill is being called T21 and is being praised for its stance on tobacco product usage and marketing.
Advocates for the bill do not want to see any of the language changed in order to allow one people group access when another group is denied.
It is an all or nothing scenario.
They believe that any bill that allows for tobacco companies to have provisions actually weakens the enforcement of such bans by the states and the federal government.
The bill will include all kinds of tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and many more.
Ben Chandler has stated, “Since Sen. McConnell stood in our offices just last month and announced plans to file this bill new date has come out showing that youth e-cigarette use in Kentucky doubled over the past two year.”
This really is becoming an epidemic on a national level.
This kind of legislation is already happening on the state level as fourteen states, and the District of Columbia have already raised the age to 21.
In addition, many cities have raised the bar to the age 21.
Each area is having their own results.