The American Lung Association is all-in, on a bill to raise the age to buy tobacco and vape products in Wisconsin. The bipartisan legislation would raise the age to 21, and the Lung Association’s Donna Wininsky said that would put it on an equal footing with alcohol. “These are both things that can alder brain chemicals and are addictive. And we would prefer to not have teenagers using them.”
Research shows that people are far less likely to start smoking once they’re 21. “It’s close to a 90 percent rate, that if someone hasn’t started using tobacco products by the time they turn 21, the chances are just very, very slim that they’re going to pick it up afterword.”
Wininsky is skeptical of claims by the vaping industry that its products are not meant for teenagers to use. “I don’t think an industry names and flavors products like ‘bubble gum’ and ‘cotton candy’ and ‘chocolate’ and all of the other flavors that both the tobacco and the vaping industries use, unless they are intentionally targeting kids.”
The legislation is being offered against the backdrop of growing public health concerns surrounding vaping, and vaping products concerning THC.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said last week that 24 of the 27 people with confirmed lung injuries reported vaping oil with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
— Lung Association WI (@LungWisconsin) August 29, 2019
While many users get sick, dealers of THC vape cartridges get rich. Police in Milwaukee in recent months made arrests of suspected dealers selling drugs that included THC cartridges. One trio of dealers was making $800,000 to $2 million a month selling THC cartridges, according to a criminal complaint cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.-