HR 7337, the Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act of 2018, would add electronic cigarettes (i.e., “any electronic device that delivers nicotine, flavor, or other substance via an aerosolized solution”) to the Jenkins Act to deter the sale and delivery of these items to minors. Any device falling under the electronic cigarette definition – including an electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah – would be subject to the Jenkins Act except if that device is intended for therapeutic or tobacco cessation purposes, either by approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or through marketing and selling for that explicit purpose. Additionally, tobacco products sold in American Indian country are exempt.
The FDA and surgeon general have referred to the rampant rise of e-cigarette use among teenagers as an epidemic. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes within the past month of survey collection in 2018, which represented an increase of more than 1.5 million students since 2017. In an attempt to curb the rising rates of vaping among minors, the FDA restricted the sale of fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes in gas stations and convenience stores in November 2018. The FDA plans to pursue continued action to address the rampant rise in e-cigarette use among minors.