Loophole in flavored e-cigarette ban has some concerned

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 3:52 AM CDT
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The Area Substance Abuse Council in Cedar Rapids is worried about a loophole in the flavored e-cigarette ban that some kids are using.

The FDA banned flavored e-cigarettes back in January, and it took effect last month after a growing number of vaping related illnesses and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control reports there have been more than 2,800 hospitalizations related to vaping or e-cigarette use in the United States. Officials say a total of 68 deaths have been linked to use of those products.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 60 confirmed vaping related illnesses in the state with no confirmed deaths.

The Area Substance Abuse Council, or ASAC, is concerned about kids using disposable e-cigs which are not included in the ban. Experts say disposable e-cigs are just as dangerous as regular cigarettes.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, disposable e-cigs can have just as much nicotine as regular cigarettes. They can also have more nicotine than ‘Juul’ vaping products.

ASAC says disposable e-cigs come in hundreds of flavors that are appealing to children. They're also easier to hide because kids can toss them when they're done.

ASAC wants to let parents know about them.

“It's a very evolving industry,” said Prevention Specialist Jeff Meyers with the Area Substance Abuse Council. “The industry is responding to new restrictions by coming up with new products. So we're keeping up with it as much as we can. We're offering education to school groups, parent groups.”

ASAC also hopes the new law changing the smoking age to 21 from 18 will stop kids from smoking. They want retailers to enforce the law.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says the ban didn't do enough. They want all flavored tobacco off the market. They and ASAC want parents to know about the dangers.