Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) is introducing a bill that would cap the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes.
Krishnamoorthi says the bill will curb teen vaping by making e-cigarettes “significantly” less addictive, but will still allow adults to use e-cigarettes to transition away from traditional cigarettes.
Krishnamoorthi argues the most recent generation of e-cigarette devices have “an enormous amount of nicotine.”
“We can’t have a situation where young people are getting addicted so quickly and the epidemic spreads,” said Krishnamoorthi.
The Ending Nicotine Dependence from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Act (END ENDS Act) would ensure e-liquids contain no more than 20 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine. It would also give the FDA the ability to lower the cap on nicotine concentration in e-liquids even further.
Currently, the United States has no restriction on the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes. A 5% JuulPod contains 59 milligrams per milliliter — nearly triple the level Krishnamoorthi wants to allow.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance Krishnamoorthi pointed to other nicotine restrictions around the world, including in the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel.
“They’ve seen very good results in terms of vaping not becoming part of their youth culture,” said Krishnamoorthi. “I feel that we are behind, but we’re starting to catch up. But we have a long ways to go.”
Krishnamoorthi has been leading a House subcommittee investigation into the role Juul may have played in the spike in teen e-cigarette use.
Juul did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The END ENDS Act is the latest effort by federal officials to crack down on the youth vaping “epidemic.” The Trump administration has called for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and some lawmakers have pushed for an e-cigarette recall.
“The youth vaping epidemic is rampant. People are now dying,” said Krishnamoorthi.
So far, at least 18 people have died and more than 1,000 people have gotten sick from a lung disease linked to vaping, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC said it believes THC may play a role in the outbreak and federal health officials have warned consumers not to use THC vaping products.
Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.