RI teens use e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco products

Ray Story, a spokesperson for the  Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association – a trade group representing the e-cigarette industry – said the association is against underage vaping and is pushing for a national law requiring age verification for anyone buying vaping products. He said they are also against e-cigarette flavors that appeal to minors like bubble gum or cotton candy.

Story added electronic cigarettes are “vastly less harmful than tobacco,” and that vaping has played a major role in the decline in conventional tobacco smoking in recent years.

A new law that bans e-cigarette use on school grounds goes into effect in Rhode Island next month. It also requires child resistant packaging for the liquid nicotine used in e cigarettes, which can be deadly if ingested.

“Young children who find these vape juices lying around the house and drink this stuff because it’s bubble gum flavored, candy flavored,” Rusley said. “There’s actually been a couple case reports of children dying from nicotine overdose.”

At Mt. Hope High School and at other schools, the risks associated with vaping have now become a part of the curriculum of health education classes.

“I think the important piece is what happens after an infraction happens, what you do and what you say,” Turchetta said.

“There certainly is evidence that vaping is harmful. I think there’s more evidence that needs to be gathered around what it can do to teenage brains,” Rusley said.
“We know that nicotine can impact a developing brain in a negative way.”

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