On October 7, 2019, Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced the “Ending Nicotine Dependence from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Act of 2019” (or “END ENDS Act”), which was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. According to the bill, the Act would “amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish a tobacco product standard prohibiting any e-liquid with a concentration of nicotine higher than 20 milligrams per milliliter” in an attempt to reduce adolescent use of ENDS.
The bill cites inspiration from similar regulations implemented in the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel. The bill focuses on the perceived success of the UK’s “nicotine cap,” which saw a decrease in “the percentage of youth who use [ENDS] less than weekly,” and a less rapid increase in adolescents who use ENDS weekly in comparison to the uptick in youth use of ENDS in the US—which, according the bill, “skyrocketed” between 2017 and 2018.
Congressman Krishnamoorthi claimed in a press release that his bill “presents a common-sense solution that has already shown success abroad,” and that capping the “concentration of nicotine in e-cigarettes is integral to ending the youth vaping epidemic” in the US. The release states that the “bill would allow the FDA to lower the cap on nicotine concentration in e-liquids to a minimally addictive or no-addictive level below 20 milligrams per milliliter.”
While the proponents of the END ENDS Act believe the bill presents a solution to underage consumption, there are obvious concerns about the effect of a cap on adult consumers who have relied on ENDS as an alternative to cigarettes.