Health experts push for more regulations on tobacco, vaping products

Ala. legislature pushes for more vaping product restrictions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - There are five confirmed cases of a vaping-related illnesses and one death in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Some health groups are pushing for more regulations to deter people from using these products.

The state legislature passed legislation this year restricting which vaping flavors can be advertised. It also restricted stores from selling vaping products to minors.

“Nicotine is a very dangerous and addictive chemical. It affects adolescent brains while they are still developing," said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.

The state health officer and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network urged the state legislature to look at not only restricting the advertising of certain vaping flavors, but to ban some of those flavors altogether.

Ginny Campbell with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said these fruity flavors attract young people.

“We feel that youth do not need to be using e-cigarettes at all," Campbell said.

The group said 24.5 percent of high school students in Alabama use e-cigarettes.

Campbell also suggested raising taxes on tobacco products, putting more money towards educating people, and raising the purchasing age to 21.

“We know evidence shows increasing the price will prevent students from using it," she said.

State Representative Barbara Drummond, D-Mobile, helped pass the most recent vaping legislation. Drummond said it is likely lawmakers will discuss additional restrictions to tobacco products this upcoming legislative session.

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