Pain is a great motivator. The pain: multiple deaths from what appears to be unregulated vaping products on the market as well as hundreds of reports of respiratory illnesses due to vaping. The state of Vermont reported its first case involving serious respiratory illness due to vaping and five other cases are being investigated, according to The Sentinel. (“7th person dies from suspected vape-related illness,” Sept. 17)

E-cigarette use is so concerning to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it has activated an emergency operations center for investigation of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping. This is serious and may indeed impact retailers of these products. Calls for regulation of e-liquids and materials should be heeded immediately, whatever the cost to the vaping industry.

Remember the changes made 37 years ago after the Tylenol poisonings? After seven people were poisoned by contaminated Tylenol, the industry was required to change packaging practices to protect consumers.

All producers and retailers of e-products have been put on notice that regulation is on the way and that our children and youth who are alarmingly attracted to these products must be protected.

The state of Michigan has banned flavored e-cigarettes. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced that he would pursue emergency regulations to quickly ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. The governor of California, Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that sends a strong message to youth and adults about unregulated electronic smoking devices — which come in many forms including e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookah, tanks and mods, JUUL, Mark-Ten, and other devices that can be used to vape nicotine or marijuana — and it will provide additional regulation, attention and funding to help.

In addition, 18 states have passed Tobacco 21 laws, while 485 cities and counties (including the city of Keene) have passed local ordinances. These measures protect youth from toxic chemicals and the potential of nicotine addiction and lung disease. How much more pain do we need before we implement comprehensive tobacco prevention and control measures?

Legislators, act now to support federal regulations. Join the states of Michigan and New York and implement a state-wide ban of flavored vapor products. Join California and act to protect youth. Join 18 states to raise the age for tobacco and vape sales to 21.


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Cheshire Medical Center

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