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Connecticut Department of Public Health a leader in determining federal regulatory options to combat teen e-cigarette use

Connecticut leaders are taking the charge in preventing teen vaping.

Appropriations Committee asked key questions surrounding vaping and asked the State of Connecticut for guidance on regulation.

“Are the products safe? Are they unsafe? Do we know? Do we have the scientific data? And how do we regulate it?” asks Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

Key questions about teen e-cigarette use answered by Connecticut’s Commissioner of Public Health. Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell told the House Appropriations committee that we don’t know what is causing the lung disease outbreak among e-cigarette users. There have been 31 cases and 1 death from lung disease related to e-cigarette use in Connecticut. 26 people have died nationwide.

“Vaping and e-cigarette products are highly addictive and are unsafe,” says Coleman-Mitchell.

Congresswoman DeLauro says, According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, nearly 1 in 5 high school students have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

“In my home state, vaping is now the most common form of youth smoking among Connecticut high school students,” she says.

Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell says Connecticut lawmakers are working to stop the trend.

“As of October first of this year, Connecticut passed legislation, which puts the minimum age from 18 to 21 years of age to purchase all tobacco, e-cigs, and vaping products,” says Coleman-Mitchell. “We have put a tax on vaping products. We are encouraging our residents to use our quit line. We are also getting the word out on media.”

According to a graph showing Overall CT Youth Cigarette use versus E-Cigarette Use, while cigarette use went from 25.6% in 2000 to 3.5% in 2017, e-cigarette use went from 2.4% in 2011 to 14.7% in 2017, which shows an overall rise in youth nicotine use.

“Do you want to wait another 50 years to combat the vaping epidemic? We need to act now,” says Coleman-Mitchell.

Congresswoman DeLauro says that while the CDC has been publishing reports on e-cigarette use since 2013, it’s time for the FDA to get involved and regulate e-cigarettes and the marketing of e-cigarettes.

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