|Posted:||April 5, 2018 12:37 PM|
|From:||Representative Gerald J. Mullery|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Prohibition of Nicotine Products in Schools|
|In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation - former House Bill 1189 - that would ban nicotine-based products and electronic cigarettes in Pennsylvania schools.
Every day in the United States, about 2,300 children try their first cigarette and another 350 become regular daily smokers, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. And, in recent years, the use of other nicotine-based products, such as electronic cigarettes, has increased such that today nearly three in five high school students use e-cigarettes, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Ninety percent of adult smokers picked up the habit as teenagers when they were most susceptible to addiction and in a critical period of growth and brain development.
Reducing the number of children and teens who smoke is vital, not only for their individual development, but also for public health. For every one percentage-point decline in the smoking rate, the public, private and individual healthcare costs in the United States would drop an estimated $98 million annually thanks to fewer smoking-related heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, annual spending on smoking-related births and complications would drop nearly $80 million per year.
Tobacco is already banned in Pennsylvania schools. My legislation would add nicotine-based products, including electronic cigarettes, to those products prohibited on school property or school buses. The use of such products on school grounds would result in a summary offense. Nicotine-based products often look, smell and taste like mints, gum and other candies, adding to their allure for young people. By banning these products on school grounds, we can attempt to decrease their use in Pennsylvania schools.
Please join me in sponsoring this important public health legislation.
Introduced as HB2268