House committee passes bill aimed at keeping vaping products away from kids

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A bill that’s aimed at keeping vapor products or e-cigarettes away from kids cleared a Kentucky House committee.

The FDA banned most fruit and mint cartridge-based vaping devices. It is one of the many ways to try and curb teen vaping. (File)

[WKYT Investigates | Fighting youth vaping]

Lawmakers passed House Bill 69 in the Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations.

The bill sponsor was quick to say this isn’t a ban on vapor products, it is simply to keep them out of the hands of young people.

Some educators testified that in some schools dozens of kids, mostly in middle school, have been caught with vaping products.

“We documented 148 vaping incidents, last year in the same amount of time, that number was 92,” said Abby Piper, Jefferson County Public Schools.

Health officials say the vapor products can be very dangerous for kids.

They talked about exposure to nicotine causing long-lasting problems, increased blood pressure, and even brain problems.

They said the devices themselves are dangerous, with one pod being the nicotine equivalent of 20 cigarettes.

Others testified that while they are in favor of keeping vaping products away from kids, they feel their industry is under attack.

“The vape shops are not trying to addict younger generations," said Troy LeBlanc with the Kentucky Smoke Free Association. "Vaping shops have continuing shown, even when T21 was signed, we turned to T21 the day it was signed. We didn’t wait for the 6th month compliance period.”

The bill requires vaping retailers to register with the state ABC, pay fees, and mandates no sales to anyone under 18.

The bill would also set up a $100 fine for minors caught buying or attempting to buy vaping products.