ILLINOIS (IRN) — Illinois’ Congressional delegation wants to raise hundreds of millions of dollars per year by taxing vaping products and then use that money to stop children from vaping.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi announced the “Providing Resources to End the Vaping Epidemic Now for Teenagers,” or PREVENT Act Friday in Chicago. They said local public health officials face a daunting task given the prevalence of e-cigarettes.
“They shouldn’t have to shoulder this burden on their own,” Durbin said. “Which is why our bill is funded by creating a new fee on the e-cigarette companies who created this crisis in the first place.”
It’s also sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Peter King from New York.
If enacted, the bill would tax importers and manufacturers of vaping materials based on how much they produce. Krishnamoorthi estimated the tax would bring in $200 million.
That money would be divvied up between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to be given out as grants to local organizations to reduce the proliferation of vaping, especially in schools, where it has become much more common.
“This disturbing trend of more and more people vaping is nothing other than an epidemic and now we have to do something about it,” Krishnamoorthi said.
Durbin lamented the fact that he would likely have little chance of progressing a bill in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, but Krishnamoorthi, who also sits on a commission investigating e-cigarette maker Juul’s marketing practices, said he would likely have more success with the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.