COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- New York recently called for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and President Donald Trump is putting pressure on the Department of Health and Human Services to research the connection between recent pulmonary illnesses and deaths and e-cigarettes.
Now a South Carolina lawmaker is also calling for additional action to make sure vaping products stay out of the hands of the youth.
In the 2019 legislative session the South Carolina General Assembly passed an amendment to the Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2006 to combat youth usage of e-cigarettes.
“Everyday we see a new report of a teenager who is experiencing these pulmonary issues,” explained Representative Beth Bernstein. The Midlands lawmaker filed the vaping amendment after her daughter’s pediatrician warned of the dangers of vaping for adolescents.
The 2019 amendment prevents teens from having access to tobacco products including e-cigarettes.
Representative Bernstein continued, “It prevented those under 18 from purchasing vaping products and going into vape shops and the online system making it more robust.”
Recently illness and deaths possibly linked to e-cigarettes have increased prompting President Donald Trump to call for policy to ban flavored e-cigarettes.
Representative Bernstein wants similar legislation here at the state level.
“97% of those teenagers are using the flavored products so it is the flavored products that are enticing them,” added Bernstein.
JUUL Labs, an e-cigarette company, has already stopped selling its non-tobacco, non-menthol based products to retail stores.
The company issued this statement in response to the proposed legislation:
“We strongly agree with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products. That is why we already stopped selling our non-tobacco/non-menthol based JUULpods to traditional retail stores, are fighting against counterfeit and compatible products made with unknown ingredients under unknown manufacturing standards, and will fully comply with local laws and the final FDA policy when effective. We will continue to combat youth usage, while supporting reasonable access to vapor products for adults looking to switch from combustible cigarettes.”