Governor signs bill to fight teen vaping epidemic

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)– Governor Kay Ivey has signed the vaping bill that adds electronic nicotine delivery systems to the list of tobacco products minors cannot purchase or possess.

That’s not all the bill does; it also increases the penalty for those that purchase or give nicotine products to minors. Once the bill goes into effect, offenders can be fined $100 to $300 and be sentenced to up to 30 days in county jail.

Vaping has become an epidemic across the country, reaching children at younger ages.

“We’re seeing it with kids in middle school and in high school in our areas, so anything that we can do to take these products out of the hands of our kids, we would encourage,” Lt. Nathan Kendrick with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said.

The bill also requires advertisements to be more than 1,000 feet away from schools.

“… But having the advertising away from certain institutions like public parks and schools and churches removes that temptation,” Hoover Councilman Curt Posey said.

Some Juul pods have the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, making them addictive in the wrong hands.

“A lot of the e-cigs and vaping were originated for smoking sensation. But once they were developed in the cool Juul type of product, it became the gateway to tobacco use for young people,” Virginia Guy, the executive director of the Drug Education Council said.

Lt. Kendrick says while the legislation helps, this problem needs to be addressed at home.

“Well, I think it’s important to remember that its not one entity that’s going to solve this problem. The state is doing its part passing this law. The most important part is that parents need to sit down with their kids and talk about it,” Lt. Kendrick said.

The vaping bill goes into effect on September 1. To read the full bill, click here. 

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