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Bloomington community responds to potential FDA ban of e-cigarettes in retail stores

Bloomington community responds to potential FDA ban of e-cigarettes in retail stores

BLOOMINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration plans to ban sales of most flavored e-cigarettes in retail stores and gas stations around the country. They are doing this in an effort to reduce the popularity of vaping among young people.

Project Oz is a local nonprofit organization that works with the community’s youth. As a part of their curriculum, Project Oz  educates teenagers on the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Joanne Glancy, Manager of Prevention Services, said teens are now “Juuling” or vaping more than they are using actual cigarettes.

The reasoning? A decrease in perception of harm.

“They are popular. They are small, they are easy to hide. Young people are not thinking about the dangers,” said Glancy.

“If a person could see what a drug does on the inside, like you can see the outside, they probably would never do it.”

There is another side to this argument – money. John Walsh, Government and Public Affairs Manager at the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, said that by limiting access to these products, it could  have an impact on the local economy.

“Places like gas stations and that kind of thing, there is definitely the potential that they see a decrease in revenue because of those products,” said Walsh.

Walsh also said that the Chamber is currently trying to find some common ground between promoting a healthy community and refraining from a loss of revenue.

“One thing that we are working with our membership on is trying to find the balance between acting on the public health issue and working on pro-business policy,” said Walsh.

Juul, the nation’s leading producer of e-cigarettes, has made efforts to dodge these regulations by pulling their flavored vaping devices from retail shelves and making them only accessible online. The company says they are also working a stricter age identification system.

However, the FDA claimed that is not enough and is continuing to push toward tighter e-cigarette regulations.

 

Ashley Antonini

November 15th, 2018

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