Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Louisville, KY – Kentucky’s kids scored a win today! And elected leaders in Frankfort reminded us that they can make a real difference on behalf of young people.
At a Coalition for Smoke-Free Tomorrow press conference, Representatives Jerry Miller and Kim Moser demonstrated state leaders’ continued commitment to ending the epidemic of e-cigarette use among Kentucky teens with the filing of a bill to tax the nicotine-packed products. Currently, e-cigarettes are the only tobacco product not subject to a state excise tax, and this legislation will ensure that those products, in addition to other harmful tobacco products, are taxed parallel to traditional cigarettes.
With more than one in four Kentucky 12th graders and one in seven 8th graders using e-cigarettes, along with the known impact on growing kids, this legislation cannot come soon enough. A tax increase is a proven way to keep these harmful products out of the hands of our youngest Kentuckians, as well as pregnant women who are also vulnerable to the harmful effects.
We applaud Representatives Miller and Moser for taking the necessary first steps to ensure an increased tax on e-cigarettes is a reality in the 2020 legislative session and thank Senator Julie Raque Adams for her commitment to file a companion bill in the Kentucky Senate. This legislation presents the commonwealth with a real chance to reduce the rampant use of e-cigarettes among our kids.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.