Press Room

Connecticut Health Official Renée Coleman-Mitchell Testifies on Vaping Illnesses

ARLINGTON, VA (Oct. 16, 2019)—Renée Coleman-Mitchell, MPH, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, testified today on the threats of e-cigarette use before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The hearing, “E-cigarettes: An Emerging Threat to Public Health,” featured two panels that conveyed the magnitude of the current vaping-related lung disease epidemic from e-cigarette use.

“Vaping of nicotine and marijuana related products has continued to rise in Connecticut and nationally – especially among young people,” says Coleman-Mitchell. “Vaping is now super easy and convenient and doesn’t smell like cigarettes. This means it’s really easy to hide it from parents. And now, vaping is endangering the lives of our citizens.”

“Providing states with the necessary resources for a structure to help us cope with both our lung injury reporting and our youth epidemic is key. We cannot afford to wait another 50 years to combat the vaping epidemic, we need to take action now.”

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is pleased that Congress continues to investigate the national outbreak and learn from state public health officials about the severity tobacco use has on our health. Coleman-Mitchell is the sixth ASTHO member to testify this year on the vaping-related lung disease epidemic.

For more information and to read Coleman-Mitchell’s testimony, visit the committee’s website.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice