According to the CDC, there have been 2,668 lung related injuries or deaths associated with vaping since Jan. 14, 2020 in the United States.
In Wisconsin, a Department of Health Services report said e-cigarette usage jumped 154 percent among high school students and 272 percent among middle school students between 2014 and 2018. Evers’ plan aims to combat these rising numbers.
“Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action. State agencies will continue to work closely with local public health officials, law enforcement, and the medical community to implement solutions, but we also need our partners in the legislature to join us” Evers said in a statement.
Data from the CDC uncovers that “two-thirds of JUUL [a popular vape product] users aged 15-24 do not know that JUUL always contains nicotine” and nicotine use — particularly among adolescents — can injure the areas of the brain that control learning, mood, impulse control, and attention.
Evers said he is “deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids.”
Evers’ agenda calls for the legislature to pass bills that would ban vape products in K-12 schools and campuses, fund health campaigns that discuss vaping issues among Wisconsin youth and expand the enforcement ability of government agencies to prevent the sale of vaping products to minors.
In response to the increases in youths vaping, the Wisconsin legislature discussed last year proposed legislation to outlaw the sale of nicotine and tobacco products to those under 21 — a change from the current age limit of 18.
Evers said he hopes that the bills he suggested can “pass quickly with bipartisan support.” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Republicans will consider the governor’s proposals.
“It’s always been a public policy goal to keep tobacco products out of the hands of children,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ll review the governor’s proposal and see what level of support each item has within our caucus.”
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