Rapp Bills to Ban Vaping Product Sales to Minors and Require Full Lyme Disease Coverage Moving Forward
3/26/2019
Resolution Recognizes March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day
HARRISBURG – Two bills and one resolution sponsored PA House Health Committee Chairman Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) are moving forward this week.

On Monday, Rapp’s legislation to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes, e-cigars, JUULs and other related vaping products to minors unanimously passed the state House for the third consecutive legislative session and again moves on to the Senate for consideration.

“Vaping products come in a variety of flavors, which appears to increase their appeal to minors,z’ said Rapp. “Touted as harmless by enthusiasts, medical experts continue to warn about the unproven safety claims of vaping products, especially when it comes to the negative effects of nicotine and other deadly toxins on the developing adolescent brain,” said Rapp. “There are also growing concerns that vaping leads to dangerous experimentation with other potentially lethal substances. No matter how you look at this ever-increasing problem, there is no time like the present for Pennsylvania to become the next to state to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and all other over-the-counter vaping products to minors.”

Updated to reflect the latest terminology used in federal regulations, House Bill 97 would amend the Crimes Code by adding “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS) to the sections that currently make it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors and, for students, to use such tobacco products on school grounds. The penalties would be the same as the penalties that apply to the sale and use of tobacco products under current law.

Also on Monday, Rapp convened a House Health Committee meeting to advance her legislation that would require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

“It is no secret that Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the nation for the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease for seven years now,” said Rapp. “This legislation is a win-win to ensure that every patient diagnosed with Lyme disease and other related tick-borne diseases has access and insurance coverage for available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options.”


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by ticks and is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, such as Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and others, pose a serious threat to the quality of life of many Pennsylvanians, with the frequency of diagnosed and reported Lyme disease cases increasing dramatically over the past several years.

House Bill 629 now advances to the full House for consideration. Virtually identical legislation passed the House last session by a bipartisan, veto proof vote of 188-6.

Last and certainly not least, on Tuesday, Rapp’s House Resolution 170 designating March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” in Pennsylvania was unanimously adopted for the third consecutive year.

“This resolution is all about saying Thank You to our honored Vietnam War veterans for all the sacrifices they have made on our behalf,” said Rapp. “It has often been said that the only thing worse than having no heroes is to have them and forget them. Pennsylvania definitely has no shortage of heroes and we are committed to remembering them all.”

Visit RepRapp.com or Facebook.com/RepRapp for the latest legislative updates.

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
717.772.9979
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp
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