Press Room

Panel of State Public Health Officials Testify on Lung Disease Outbreak

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 25, 2019)— Today, four state health officials are testifying on a panel before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations about the public health impacts of youth e-cigarette use and the current lung disease outbreak. The panel includes:

  • Joneigh Khaldun, chief deputy director for health and chief medical executive, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Elizabeth Tilson, state health director and chief medical officer, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lee Norman, secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Monica Bharel, commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

The hearing, “Sounding the Alarm: The Public Health Threats of E-Cigarettes,” will provide members of Congress the opportunity to examine causes of the ongoing vaporizer-linked lung disease outbreak.

“State and territorial public health agencies are taking a leading role in implementing strong action to protect consumers from the harms of e-cigarette use,” says Michael Fraser, CEO of ASTHO. “We are pleased that Congress highlighted their critical work today. We strongly urge Congress and the administration to take steps to strengthen oversight of e-cigarettes, increase investments in research and prevention, and to better understand health effects associated with their use, and provide increased funding for tobacco education and cessation programs.”

For more information and to read the state health officials’ 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