Students and school principals to speak at House subcommittee today
EAST HAMPTON, New York — Students and principals from two Long Island public high schools will testify before members of Congress on Tuesday about the destructive and devastating effects of the vaping epidemic caused by JUUL and other e-cigarette manufacturers in their schools.
A live feed of the testimony is available at https://www.facebook.com/principals?fref=ts.
Their testimony is a part of the ongoing investigation by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies into JUUL and other e-cigarette makers’ premeditated assault on children as young as 8 years old through deceptive marketing practices. This hearing will provide perspective from non-vaping students and school administrators about the substantial and direct financial costs to their schools.
Testifying before U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s panel are four students from East Hampton and Southampton High Schools as well as principals from the two schools. The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. EST in Room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building. Students and principals will testify as eyewitnesses to the destructive and devastating effects of the vaping epidemic.
As non-vaping and non-JUULing youth, these teens are also victims because of reduced school services resulting from diverted school funding required to deal with the growing epidemic.
East Hampton High School Principal Adam Fine and Southampton High School Principal Dr. Brian Zahn are dealing daily with the costs and destruction to their students’ brains, lungs and emotional stability caused by e-cigarettes. They will explain that JUUL use spans across all genders, races, ages and economic lines.
Mr. Fine raised awareness of the vaping issue when he appeared in November alongside New York State Attorney General Letitia James when she announced a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the manufacturers of vaping products.
East Hampton students have sprung into action to make their own impact by creating a student task force called the Breathe in Change Initiative. They have begun honest conversations about the health effects of nicotine in e-cigarettes such as JUUL — without teachers present — at neighboring middle schools and through the group’s growing social media presence.
“We applaud these students and principals for going to Washington to present the facts on the deadly intrusion of nicotine into their lives and the re-emergence of Big Tobacco into the lungs and brains of millions of young people,” said attorney Andy Birchfield, who leads the mass torts section of Beasley Allen Law Firm, a leader in the effort to expose vaping safety concerns. “An essential element of this vaping epidemic is missing if we are not listening to how this tragedy is affecting our children in their own words.
“We praise Rep. DeLauro and her subcommittee for being the first in Congress to summon the eyewitnesses to the assault on America’s youngest and most vulnerable,” he said. “Beasley Allen will continue to be the leader in holding these manufacturers liable for the harm they are inflicting on our youth.”