State leaders to address vaping in upcoming legislative session

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VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Indiana State Department of Health is moving forward with plans to curb e-cigarette use, particularly in young adults and teens.

This follows an increasing number of vaping-related lung illnesses and death across the country, including three reported deaths in Indiana.

Vaping is an action Governor Eric Holcomb wants to continue to fight in the General Assembly.

“We’re not going to watch all of the improvements that we’re making get washed away by this new option. And that’s, in part, what’s happening right now,” he said.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, more than one in seven middle school students and more than one in three high school students have used e-cigarettes in their lifetime.

“It’s extremely troubling to me that middle school children, high school children are vaping. And we don’t know at times what they’re vaping,” the governor said.

According to Governor Holcomb, addressing the issue of vaping will be a top priority when leaders return to Indianapolis.

“We’ll be back this next session in January with even more recommendations to the General Assembly so that folks that want to quit smoking have that option,” he said.

Age regulation is one course of action suggested by senator Todd Young’s Tobacco to 21 Act. Some believe it could work

“If you raise the age to be able to buy it they make it to a point that it would seem like those people know more of what’s going to happen than anybody else doing it,” said Indiana State University student, Lucas Smith.

Others who have witnessed vaping in their personal lives believe in another approach.

“People don’t realize how bad it is for them. I think they just need more education about it, too,” said Elizabeth McKinley, a ISU graduate student.

The governor said he believes Senator Young is on a positive track in preventing addiction, and they plan to work together to continue to save young lives.

“We’ll put together our legislative agenda, come December, and we’ll be sharing it. Stay tuned,” he said.

The Indiana General Assembly session will resume at the Indiana Statehouse in mid-January of 2020.

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