Subcommittee Chair Krishnamoorthi and Senator Durbin Urge CDC to Update Higher Education Guidance on Coronavirus to Include Tobacco-Free Campuses

Sep 3, 2020
Press Release
Bicameral Request Follows Study Showing Young Vapers and Smokers More Likely to Contract Coronavirus

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 3, 2020)—Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, and Senator Dick Durbin, urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update its guidance to colleges and universities and encourage campuses to go tobacco-free—which would include e-cigarettes—for the fall semester.

“With some colleges reopening for on-campus learning in the fall semester, this new study on youth vaping must be taken into account.  College-age tobacco users are at heightened risk of contracting the virus, and they will spread it,” wrote the Members.  “We request that the CDC update its interim guidance and considerations for institutions of higher education to include recommendations for campuses to be tobacco-free in the fall,”

A recently released study in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that young people aged 13 to 24 who vape are five times more likely than non-vapers to be diagnosed with COVID-19.  Those individuals who have vaped and smoked combustible cigarettes in the last 30 days (dual users) are nearly seven times more likely than non-users to be diagnosed with COVID-19 and almost five times more likely to experience symptoms.

Young people are increasingly driving the spread of COVID-19, and that will only increase with reopened college campuses if appropriate public health precautions are not strictly implemented and enforced.

“With the added public health risk posed by coronavirus, the CDC must act quickly and forcefully,” added the Members.

Chairman Krishnamoorthi and Senator Durbin requests the CDC’s written response by September 9, 2020.

Click here to read the letter.


116th Congress