OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Health groups urge FDA to finalize tobacco regs

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Thursday evening here in Washington and the gyrocopter dude is still dominating the news. At least it's distracting us from the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNAACP seeks to boost Black voter turnout in six states California Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE Chipotle tip controversy. 

Here's a look at what else is happening and what's to come:

 

THE BIG STORY

The clock is ticking down.

Come April 25th, it'll be a year since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to assert its authority over all tobacco products. Health groups and lawmakers are calling on the agency to finalize those deeming regulations before next Saturday, so it can propose rules for the way products like electronic cigarettes and cigars are flavored, packaged and marketed.

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"It's critical FDA gets on with using its authority to protect the public health," said Gregg Haifley, director of federal relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

What's particularly alarming, health advocates say is the rise in the number of teens using electronic cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA's Center for Tobacco Products released the results of the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey on Thursday, which found that e-cigarette use has tripled among middle and high school students from 2013 to 2014.

Among high school students, e-cigarette use jumped from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014 and from 1.1 percent among middle school students in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014.

The survey considered e-cigarette use to be at least one day in the past 30 days.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) said she's "deeply concerned" about the recent figures.

"I have urged FDA to finalize its rule keeping e-tobacco products away from kids by April 25, so we that can continue to curb the growth of nicotine device usage among our youth," she said in a news release. "We cannot afford a setback in the progress we have made limiting tobacco use."

CDC said this is the first time since the survey started collecting data on e-cigarettes in 2011 that e-cigarette use has surpassed use of every other tobacco product overall, including conventional cigarettes.

The study also found that hookah smoking had roughly doubled among middle and high school students, even as cigarette smoking declined.

In a statement, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age, whether it's an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar.

"Adolescence is a critical time for brain development," he said. "Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use."

 

ON TAP FOR FRIDAY

The House is not in session and though the Senate will meet for legislative business, there aren't any Senate committee hearings scheduled.

The General Services Administration will hold a public meeting to discuss a proposal to amend the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation to include clauses that would require vendors to report transactional data from orders and prices paid by ordering activities. http://1.usa.gov/1JNyL1k

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 169 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to look for:

--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue new regulations for the disposal of coal combustion residuals at landfills.

The rules will apply to new and existing coal combustion residuals (CCR) landfills, surface impoundments and lateral expansions.

CCRs that pose a risk to human health and the environment "warrant regulatory controls," the EPA says.

"It also requires the closure of any CCR landfill or CCR surface impoundment that cannot meet the applicable performance criteria for location restrictions or structural integrity," the EPA writes.

The rule goes into effect in 180 days. http://bit.ly/1E6OUzX

--The EPA will allow farmers to use small amounts of a toxic pesticide known as carbofuran to protect their crops from insects.

The agency revoked the tolerances for carbofuran in 2009, but was overruled in federal court. So it will reinstate the tolerances, allowing farmers to use up to a certain amount of the pesticide.

The changes go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1NSnmDf

--The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will propose new privacy rules for amateur radio operators.

Under the proposed rules, historical amateur radio licensees would not be required to provide address information for public inspection.

"The commission found that amending these rules will enhance amateur radio operators' privacy without undermining the public interest in knowing who is authorized to operate on amateur spectrum," the FCC writes.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1NSnrH3

--The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may exempt certain truck drivers with narcolepsy from rules that would otherwise prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle. 

Three truck drivers who are seeking medical treatment for narcolepsy are applying for exemptions so they can drive. Narcolepsy causes daytime sleepiness. 

"If granted, the exemption would enable these individuals who have been diagnosed with narcolepsy and are receiving medical treatment to operate (trucks) for two years in interstate commerce," the agency writes.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1b1xIPa

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue new protections for geological research on National Forest System lands.

The rule will protect paleontological resources found in federal forests and ensure "these resources are available for current and future generations to enjoy as part of America's national heritage," the agency says.

The rule goes into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1JNINzz

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Death penalty: Fewer Americans support the death penalty, according to a new study. http://bit.ly/1zlOxu0

E-cigs: Teen use of e-cigarettes is skyrocketing, according to new government data. http://bit.ly/1Da2yLZ

Tobacco farms: Children would be limited from working on tobacco farms under new legislation from Democrats. http://bit.ly/1CTvE1Y

Gun ban: The Department of Justice's gun ban is unfairly blocking tens of thousands of military veterans from owning firearms, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks GOP Finance chairman raises concerns about Trump push to make payroll-tax deferral permanent MORE (R-Iowa) says. http://bit.ly/1HxUPxJ

Spending bills: House Democrats are looking to block Republicans from tucking gun provisions into government spending bills. http://bit.ly/1G0tFjK

Emails: Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch is dodging questions about whether she would investigate Hillary Clinton's use of private emails. http://bit.ly/1IjmGQm

 

BY THE NUMBERS

2 million: The number of high school students who used e-cigarettes in 2014.

450,000: The number of middle school students who used e-cigarettes in 2014.

1.3 million: The number of high school students who smoked hookahs in 2014.

280,000: The number of middle school students who smokes hookahs in 2014.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We have known for decades that tobacco companies have no qualms peddling their deadly product to young people, but Big Tobacco's willingness to exploit children for profit doesn't stop there. Child tobacco workers -- some as young as 11 or 12 – risk nicotine poisoning and other health effects every day they go to work. That needs to change," -- Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead White House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Sunday shows - Trump coronavirus executive orders reverberate MORE (D-Ill.).

 

We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and@wheelerlydia.

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