U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), today voted in support of advancing Dr. Stephen Hahn’s nomination to serve as FDA Commissioner but stressed that if confirmed, Dr. Hahn must put public health above political considerations in addressing the youth vaping epidemic. The Committee advanced the nomination by a vote of 18-5.
“Dr. Hahn committed under oath that if he was confirmed, he would use science and data to guide his decisions on the youth vaping crisis,” Senator Romney said. “I am counting on him to follow through on that commitment, and I will insist that if confirmed, he will keep this committee and the nation informed about how his decisions are being made. We have a massive public health emergency, with five million kids in high school who are vaping and becoming addicted to nicotine, and we must place the interest of public health above political interest. At the same time, Congress must work on vaping legislation in the immediate future and create a national standard to protect our young people.”
Two weeks ago, Senator Romney participated in a White House meeting on the vaping epidemic with the President, industry representatives, and health advocates where he urged action to ban flavors that entice youth.
At Dr. Hahn’s confirmation hearing, Senator Romney urged him to support a flavor ban. He met with Dr. Hahn earlier in the month to discuss the issue.
In September, Senators Romney and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies (ENND) Act, which would regulate e-cigarette standards and protect public health by prohibiting non-tobacco flavors and ensuring that electronic nicotine delivery systems are tamper-proof.
In June, Senators Romney and Mark Udall (D-NM) introduced the Smoke-Free Schools Act of 2019 to ban e-cigarette use in educational and childcare facilities.
In April, Romney helped introduce the bipartisan Tobacco to 21 Act, legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.