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Mon, Dec. 09

Editorial: Reader poll: 82% of people say yes to regulating vaping products

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Courier stock image

In a recent reader poll The Daily Courier conducted online at dCourier.com, we asked readers: Do you think vaping products should be regulated like tobacco?

The results were astounding, with 82% of readers voting, “Yes, it is a risky habit and is addicting,” while only 12% said, “No, it is a matter of personal choice.”

Six percent answered, “I don’t care.”

Although the legal limit to buy e-cigarette products is 18 in the state of Arizona, teens seem to still be finding a way to get ahold of the products, and with dozens of deaths across the country linked to vaping, something needs to be done.

A recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina asked teens who don’t even smoke to buy e-cigarettes online from nearly 100 of the most popular internet venders.

The result? Of the 98 orders, only five were rejected based on a failed age verification.

In addition to the purchase, the teens were asked to answer the door when the package arrived. Not one company asked to verify the age of the signee.

Needless to say, there’s a problem.

Last week, Sen. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek launched a new bid to regulate vaping products like tobacco and raise the age to use both to 21, aiming to cut down on teen vaping across the state of Arizona.

Aside from the higher age requirement, the bill would also license retailers who sell both tobacco and vaping products.

The Arizona Smoke Free Alliance immediately opposed the bill, saying the Senator is attempting to “define us as ‘tobacco’ even though there’s no tobacco in vaping products.”

“We are selling a nicotine alternative to adult smokers who are addicted to combustible cigarettes that kill 50 percent of their users,” Arizona Smoke Free Alliance Executive Director Amanda Wheeler said.

Sorry, but you’re missing the point on this one.

This issue isn’t about helping smokers wean themselves off cigarettes or creating an entirely new brand of products to corner the market with. The point of concern is that vaping products, a gateway to smoking and another avenue for teens to get hooked on tobacco, are more accessible to young people than ever before.

It’s time to begin requiring proof of age to purchase vaping products before it’s too late.

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