Congresswoman working to stop online tobacco sales to minors

Connecticut congresswomen Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty introduced the Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act of 2015. The legislation would ensure that Internet and mail order sales of e-cigarettes are treated the same way as traditional tobacco products.

“Under federal law, if you want to buy cigarettes, rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco, or snuff online, by mail, or over the phone, you have to verify your age, both when you order and when you receive the package,” DeLauro said. “Unfortunately, the law is deficient. It does not cover all tobacco products. People can buy cigars, hookah, and e-cigarettes online, by mail, or on the phone, without facing any age verification requirements. That is why Congresswoman Esty and I are introducing the Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act to close this loophole and keep our children safe from tobacco products in the 21st Century.”

The Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act would:

  • Require online age verification for the purchase of e-cigarettes, hookahs, cigars and related devices.

  • Require age verification at delivery of the above products.

  • Prohibit shipping these products through the United States Postal Service.

“The bill that we are introducing today will continue the progress we’ve made on reducing the use of tobacco and nicotine among America’s youth,” Esty said. “It’s easier and cheaper for children to obtain electronic nicotine and tobacco online. And we need to put an end to these dangerous practices. The same laws that apply to the sale of other tobacco products should apply to e-cigarettes, and that’s what this bill does. This is common sense legislation to promote a healthier Connecticut and a healthier America.”

DeLauro represents the Third District, which includes Shelton, Stratford, Milford, Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge. Esty represents the Fifth District, which includes Litchfield and a portion of Fairfield counties.

Democratic Congressmen John Garamendi, Bobby Rush and Charles Rangel are also original co-sponsors of the bill.