Vape shop stresses ID checking after FDA announces teen vaping '

Vape shop stresses ID checking after FDA announces teen vaping 'epidemic'

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LUBBOCK -

The commissioner of the FDA called teenage vaping an epidemic. Before it announced the epidemic of electronic cigarettes among teenagers, the FDA issued a warning to more than 1,000 retail locations around the country for selling to minors.

"If you had to be 18 and older to buy cigarettes we felt it should be the exact same way with e-cigarettes," Co-owner of 180 Vape, Kim Pharr, said.

According to Pharr, employees card every customer that looks younger than twenty-seven and scan their ID to see if it's legitimate.

"We don't want to sell to minors, we're not OK with that. We never have been," Pharr added.

Over the summer, the FDA issued 1,300 warning letters and fines to stores illegally selling e-cigs to minors.

"The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end," FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.

The administration warned manufacturers like JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, blu and Logic, they have sixty days to come up with plans to address the epidemic.

"It's one of those things you don't want to see young people doing," Director of Public Health for the City of Lubbock, Katherine Wells said. "We've worked really hard on reducing smoking rates in the state and nationally and that's actually reduced the health risks associated with smoking and I don't want to see those things start increasing."

Nothing Butt Smokes is the only store in Lubbock the FDA issued a warning to.

According to Wells, while e-cigs can help adults quit tobacco, they contain nicotine which is highly addictive.

"They're also seen as an entryway into starting to smoke, so you don't want young people to start picking up e-cigarettes because they are addictive and you can see people turn to tobacco use," Wells said.

The only type of e-cig 180 Vape carries are JUULS. The rest are made by big tobacco companies.

Pharr said those products are sold at a lot more places and can be easier to get.

"Convenient stores might have a little bit more trouble, but if the government or state enforces those rules, I think that we would see a big difference in what they're seeing as far as children or teens vaping. The problem doesn't lie in the vape stores," Pharr said.

According to a CDC study, 4.3% of middle school students and 11.3% of high school students have tried e-cigarettes.

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