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Rules mulled to cut e-cigarette use among teens

DENVER — More than a million teens are now using e-cigarettes, that number doubling in just one year.  The FDA and American Cancer Society say the problem has gotten out of control.

“There’s so much unknown about e-cigarettes, there are health effects, potentially, and in many states E-cigarettes aren’t illegal for young people to purchase,” said R.J. Ours of the Colorado chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Colorado bans those 18 and under from using the products, which can cause serious illness to anyone exposed to the chemicals inside the vaping devices. The government wants to further regulate the use and sale of E-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, and nicotine gels. Under the plan, buyers would have to be 18, any claims about a product’s safety must be backed up by scientific evidence and products would not be allowed in vending machines.

New regulations would also prevent shop owners from handing out free samples, and products would be required to feature health warnings.

Many who sell vaping devices say tighter regulation is welcome.

“We do welcome them to come in and check our industry out, because it just takes one bad seed out there to really bring everything down,” Josh Turley of Smooth Vapes in Aurora said.

The Smooth Vapes store already follows many strict safety guidelines. Samples are never allowed in public areas and I.D’s are always checked, owners said.

Doctors say once adults take the products home, they are the last line of defense when it comes to a child’s safety.

“We know that some of the cartridges contain enough nicotine to actually kill a child if they drank the whole thing, so it’s very important if you’re using electronic cigarettes that they’re kept out of reach of children,” Dr. Karen Wilson of Children’s Hospital Colorado said.

New guidelines will go into effect 75 days after the FDA’s final rule is presented.

For more information about safely using e-cigarettes visit  http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/questionsaboutsmokingtobaccoandhealth/questions-about-smoking-tobacco-and-health-e-cigarettes

and http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/electronic-cigarettes.