ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Senate Bill 21 will outlaw all tobacco products to be used by and sold to minors, but it seems the motivation behind the law is to get specifically E-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers.
“There for a few years, the teen use was going down” says Sara Hinshaw, the Coalition Coodinator at the Permian Basin Regional Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. “But when these vape pens, the Juuls came out with flavored nicotine, the rise has gone up.”
Similar bans have been passed in 14 states. In Texas, nearly 12% of high school students smoke cigarettes and 19% use E-cigarettes (The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)
You don’t see our young people using the traditional ways of tobacco… the dip in your mouth, traditional cigarettes. They aren’t using that, they are going for the vape pens.”
How this law will be enforced is an issue in itself.
“Our district employees are stepping up and monitoring,” says Imo jean Douglas of Midland ISD. “We are, our police department are making frequent rounds. Anyone in possession could be subject to the law.”
Nearly 90% of smokers started smoking by the age of 18 (Surgeon General). The addiction kills more than 1,200 people a day, which is about half the number of youth or young adults who become regular smokers each day. The CDC blamed E-cigarettes for driving up tobacco use among high school students. Last year, there was a 38% increase of tobacco use among that demographic than the year before.
If any parents of students want to find ways to talk with their students about the dangers associated with these products, go to https://www.midlandisd.net/Page/33231