January 9, 2019 / Modified jan 9, 2019 10:30 a.m.

State Bill Aims to Reduce Teen Vaping

The proposed law would provide a clearer definition of what an e-cigarette is.

Vaping e-cigarette The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says e-cigarettes are unsafe for kids, teens and young adults.
Erica Crossen/U.S. Air Force

Arizona Sen.-elect Heather Carter is proposing a bill to clear up the law so it is more difficult for teens to buy tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes.

Nearly 12 percent of U.S. high school students and 3 percent of middle school students use e-cigarettes, according to the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey.

The proposed legislation more clearly defines what an e-cigarette is and, as a result, would make it more difficult for teens to buy.

“Students are buying products that look like thumb drives that go in our computers to vape while they are in class,” said Carter, a Republican from Cave Creek.

Carter’s proposal is a reaction to changes the tobacco industry made following the passage of a 2013 law designed to crack down on underage vaping.

“The industry is reinventing these products at such a rapid pace that not only is the statutory definition not keeping up, just educating parents is a challenge,” she explained.

The proposal has the backing of health officials but is sure to draw the ire of the tobacco industry.

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