US Senators Reintroduce Bill to End E-Cigarette Advertising Tax Subsidies

US Senators Reintroduce Bill to End E-Cigarette Advertising Tax Subsidies
US senators reintroduced a bill to eliminate tax subsidies for e-cigarette and tobacco advertisements to curb use among teens.

US Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have reintroduced a bill aimed at eliminating tax credits for electronic cigarette and tobacco advertisements. The bill would target e-cigarette companies and close tax loopholes that allow manufacturers to claim federal tax breaks for advertising e-cigarettes and tobacco products. Senators Brown (D-Ohio), Reed (D-R.I.), Durbin (D-Ill.), and Merkley (D-Ore.) have also joined in reintroducing the bill. Federal data from November 2022, released by the FDA and the CDC, showed that more than three million middle and high school students used tobacco products in the past 30 days. More than 2.5 million middle and high school students, or over a quarter, used e-cigarettes daily. This is because the number of teenage e-cigarette users increased 1,800% from 2011 to 2019. More than 30% of teenagers who start using e-cigarettes switch to traditional tobacco products within six months. Currently, more than a quarter of teenage e-cigarette users use the product daily, with over 85% using fruit-flavored e-cigarettes. Among surveyed students who use social media, 73.5% have seen e-cigarette-related content. While federal law bans television and radio advertising for traditional tobacco products and the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement limits some other forms of cigarette advertising, these restrictions do not apply to e-cigarettes. Although some television networks have started pulling e-cigarette ads from the air in response to the ongoing youth e-cigarette crisis, other networks continue to air them. To ensure e-cigarettes are treated equally to traditional tobacco, the Shaheen and Blumenthal bill also prohibits tax credits for advertising costs related to tobacco cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco.

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