HomeAdvocacy ▶ Year in Advocacy: 2019
Year in Advocacy: 2019

From the annual Hill Day to several ATS hosted Congressional Briefings, 2019 had no shortage of ATS members engaged in advocacy activity. Below find highlights of some of the ways ATS members were advocating for our patients and our profession with key federal agencies and Congress, to improve respiratory health for all Americans.

In 2019, the ATS secured a number of achievements including:

  • ATS successfully sued FDA to compel the agency to conduct premarket tobacco product reviews of new tobacco products, including all e-cigarettes and the majority of candy flavored cigars.
  • In coordination with the respiratory and patient community, the ATS hosted a Capitol Hill Reception to celebrate NHLBI Lung Division’s 50th anniversary.
  • Chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee Mary Rice, MD, testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in opposition to the EPA’s proposed rule titled, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.”
  • ATS co-sponsored a series of events with partners including the National TB Controllers Association and TB Alliance on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. Sixteen TB survivors from 12 states across the U.S., ATS staff and other TB advocates participated in the fourth annual TB Survivors Hill Day.
  • ATS helped secure funding increases for respiratory research and health programs at the NIH, CDC, VA Research Program and USAID Global TB Program.

Hill Day

50 ATS members and patient advocates from 26 states traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for key ATS legislative priorities. Advocates met with 80 House and Senate offices, including Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN), as well as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chair of the House Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee, which determines NIH funding.

Tobacco Control

Congress passed and the President signed Tobacco-21 legislation, raising the national purchase age for all tobacco products to 21.

The House passed the Reversing Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act to curb youth tobacco and e-cigarette use including:

  • Limiting flavors in cartridge style e-cigarette flavors
  • Banning internet sales of most tobacco products
  • Extends tobacco advertising restrictions to e-cigarette products
  • Levies a federal excise tax on e-cigarettes, comparable to federal taxes on other tobacco products

Clean Air

  • The ATS joined an amicus brief urging federal action on climate change
  • The ATS urged EPA to adopt more protectives standards for particulate matter pollution
  • The ATS testified before Congress regarding concerns with the EPA Transparency rule



Use the share buttons in the bottom center of this page, and use #ATSadvocacy on social media.