Are you aware that vaping has become an epidemic among teens? While the rate of teen cigarette smoking is going down, the number of teenagers who are vaping is rising rapidly, and the truth about vaping health risks is becoming apparent. According to a 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control, about 50 per cent more high schoolers and middle schoolers vape than smoke.
When cigarette smoking and nicotine vaping are combined, nicotine use may actually have increased.
According to the Iowa Youth Survey in 2016, 3% of 8th graders used e-cigarettes. By 2018, it went up to 8%. A bigger concern was among the 11th grade students. In 2016, 9% were vaping, but by 2018, that number rose to 23%.
We believe our legislators should address young Iowans’ concerns about vaping and hopefully pass a bill into law to raise the age of purchasing vaping products from 18 to 21. This alone is not enough to make a difference. We want to see these products made unavailable for purchase online. Currently, you can just click a box claiming you are of age. Age verification upon delivery needs to become law. There also should be punishments for possession of such products for those under the legal age.
We feel this is a bipartisan issue and ask that you contact your local state legislators about this important issue. We are passionate about seeing such a bill become law in the great state of Iowa.
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St. Joseph Catholic School 8th Grade Class
Brenda McKone, 21st Century Skills Teacher
St. Joseph Catholic School