Rep. Tom Patton Introduces Two Bills to Limit Flavors and Access to Vaping

 

State Representative Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) announced the introduction of two new bills on Wednesday. House Bills 346 and 347 will, “place new limits on the sale of flavored vaping products in Ohio.”

The Center on Addiction defines vaping as, “…the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles.”

News of deaths and serious illnesses possibly linked to vaping and vaping products have led to the resignation of the nation’s newest and most popular vaping company’s CEO. The New York Times tweeted, “Breaking News: Juul Labs’ chief executive, Kevin Burns, stepped down amid outrage over vaping. He will be replaced by an executive from the tobacco company Altria.”

 

After what was believed to be the first death related to vaping in Oregon, Dr. Ann Thomas from Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division told the public, “We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” said Ann Thomas, M.D., public health physician at OHA’s Public Health Division.”

The Insider wrote that some experts are beginning to suspect the illnesses and deaths may be related to additional ingredients added to the e-cigarettes by the users. “Investigators at the CDC [Center for Disease Control] suspect that vaping — and in particular, vaping with cannabinoid liquids like THC — may be part of the problem.” They also cite the possibility of oils, such as vegetable oil and vitamin E used as a delivery method for vaping drugs such as cannabinoids and even nicotine, could be the cause.

Patton’s press release stated, “There have been seven deaths nationally and 530 people have been hospitalized with pulmonary issues caused by vaping related products. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and prevention have recommended not using vaping products until illnesses have been further investigated.”

The CDC has commented publicly on the problem and Dr. Redfield, the CDC Director, seems particularly concerned for people who add THC or CBD-containing products while vaping. “While some cases are similar and appear to be linked to #ecigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the respiratory illnesses. In many cases, patients have also acknowledged recent use of THC or CBD-containing e-cigarette products.”

 

Rep. Patton’s main concern is school-aged children. He said in his press release, “I have been contacted by schools in my district telling me vaping is becoming a prominent issue, especially in junior high,” said Rep. Patton. “Nicotine addiction is becoming increasingly problematic among our youth. Ohio joins 32 other states addressing this public health crisis and helping our youth.”

House Bill 346, “…prohibit[s] the sale of flavored electronic smoking devices and flavored vapor products and to establish a committee to study the health risks associated with such products.”

The purpose of House Bill 347 is, “to place restrictions on retailers of vapor products.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to bethlearreports@gmail.com.

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