WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – In the wake of President Trump’s plan to remove flavored e-cigarettes off the market until they receive FDA approval, more states are taking action to combat the so-called “vaping epidemic.”
This also comes as hundreds of cases of vaping-related illnesses are being reported across the country.
While the majority of the patients are young adults, some older adults are also speaking out about their own health problems.
After personal experience, hospitalized with pneumonia after using his own vaping pen, patient Jonathan Doneson said, “If your children are using it, parents please, be a little aggressive. So what if they cry? Okay? You don’t want to cry later.”
Pulmonary Dr. Anna-Maria Iakovou works in critical care and sleep medicine at Northwell Health. She said, “This is an urgent issue that deserves public awareness and strong warning to stop using these devices.”
In the U.S. there have been six deaths possibly related to vaping and hundreds of cases, either confirmed or under investigation, across the majority of the country.
In Florida, lawmakers are taking action of their own. Florida State Representative Jackie Toledo (R) said, “Today I’m filing a bill to raise the legal age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 21.”
But the issue of nicotine addiction in the U.S., especially among children, is not simple.
One mother, Erin Nessmith, said, “They are using our children once again to replace the previous generation of smokers who have either died or were able to quit.” Her 16-year-daughter is repeating her sophomore year at home after suffering sometimes 60 seizures a day, addicted to mango-flavored e-cigarettes. “it must be stopped,” Nessmith said. “Not just for my children, but for everyone’s children.”
Now, Michael Bloomberg is investing $160 million to educate parents and kids nationwide. “What we need to do is activate moms and dads and kids across the country who are frightened and angered to give them the tools to bring about change,” said Matthew Myers with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
It’s a change that could ultimately save lives.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that he signed an executive order creating an electronic cigarette task force. The goal would be to “identify and recommend” actions the state government can take.