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Although vaping and opioid abuse now receive substantial attention, legislative focus, and resources, the legislative response occurred only after these issues became a nationwide crisis. The response was too late to make any real change in the epidemic’s trajectory. In the last ten years, hearings in the Senate related to public health prevention and containment have been largely reactive and trailing the media rather than the leading edge. The Senate has been slow in response once there is a crisis, and has not worked to prevent them. With access to the world’s best experts and the legislative power to mitigate public health disasters, the Senate should be leading instead of following. As appeared in The Globe Post on April 3, 2020.

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