TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As the feds look to combat the millions of teens who now vape, the White House is calling for a ban on thousands of flavored liquids.
Meanwhile, state and local leaders are planning to take action too.
On Thursday, local health leaders joined State Representative Jackie Toledo of Tampa at a news conference to announce the legislation.
The news conference was held at Tampa General Hospital.
State Representative Jackie Toledo announced she was filing a bill to raise the legal age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 21.
This comes as federal health officials continue to investigate the link between e-cigarettes and an outbreak of chronic lung disease.
There have been six deaths related to vaping, and the CDC announced Friday that a new report shows as many as 450 cases of mysterious lung disease across the nation, and at least three deaths, are linked to vaping. The CDC issued guidance urging people to stop vaping until investigators pinpoint what is making vapers sick.
“Really the safest thing is probably to avoid vaping and if it is what you are using as a nicotine replacement rather than smoking cigarettes my recommendation is to look at other nicotine replacement strategist such as gum, patches, etc.,” said Dr. David Wein with Tampa General Hospital.
Dr. Wein is also took part in the news conference Thursday.
Those in the vape business believe black market products could be to blame, and fear the CDC’s recommendation is a bad guidance that’s bad for business.
“You’re telling my customers to go away and not do this anymore?” asked Mike Cherup, owner of South Tampa Vape. “So what should they do, go back to regular cigarettes?”
Customers have said they would likely switch back to cigarettes if a ban was implemented.
“Going back to cigarettes would be a very high likelihood,” said Lauren Cherup.