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Published: Thursday, May 05, 2016 @ 10:26 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 05, 2016 @ 10:26 PM
DAYTON — Electronic cigarettes, cigars and hooka will now be regulated like tradional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.
The regulations also limit to sales to minors and require health warnings in packaging, though in Ohio the sale of e-cigarettes to those younger than 18 already is prohibited.
In the last several years, health experts say young people using e-cigs has increased a thousand percent. But that’s not the demographic shop owners are most concerned about.
“Probably 80 percent of them is 40 or older, people looking to quit smoking,” said Scott Siegel of his customer base at Vape Girls in Huber Heights.
With attractive flavors like root beer and apple ice, critics say the vaping industry targets a younger crowd. Last year, three million teens tried it.
“There’s always going to be young people that are interested in it, that want to smoke or want to vape and are going to want to try it,” Siegel said, “but I don’t think it’s geared toward them any way, shape or form.”
This is the first time there will be federal oversight of the multi-billion dollar industry.
“It’s going to make a big impact for Public Health, but the biggest impact is certainly going to be in future generations for youth because we know that youth use these products, the e-cigarettes, the mini cigars, those products much more than they do traditional cigarettes,” said Bruce Barcelo of Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.
The rate of people smoking traditional cigarettes is dropping. Siegel worries the progress those people have made will go up in smoke.
“It’s going to make the price go up. I just don’t want to see people go back to smoking because vaping’s become more expensive,” Siegel said.
As for possible negative effects, Public Health officials say they’re still looking into the dangers of e-cigarettes.