Gov. Mike DeWine wants to ban flavored e-cigarettes. Now there’s a bill that would do that.
The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed at least 20 cases of severe breathing illnesses, mostly in young people. And there are about two dozen more cases being investigated.
Kids cannot legally buy vaping products under current law. But Republican Representative Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) says they are getting their hands on flavored vaping products anyway. So, he wants to ban the sale of flavored vaping e-cigarettes.
“The calls we are getting from parents and administrators at schools – the junior high schools….junior high schools….is a significant problem. The idea of flavored smoke, blueberry smoke, cotton candy or bubble gum smoke. It still contained in nicotine," Patton says.
Patton acknowleges some jobs could be lost in the vaping industry if his bill passes. But he says if retail jobs are lost, those workers can easily find comparable jobs elsewhere.
The Ohio Trade Vapor Association opposes Patton's bill. The group's president, James Jarvis, says "flavor bans are a misguided attempt to address what is currently happening across the country with illnesses and, unfortunately, deaths." Jarvis says many of the problems are coming from the black market THC cartridges that can be used in vaping devices.
The Ohio Vapor Trade Association says it wants to work with Gov Mike DeWine, Rep. Tom Patton and the rest of the Ohio Legislature on the teen vaping problem.