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This is Florida matters. I'm Robin Sesing. Ham for years using e cigarettes or vaping has been seen as a good way to quit with smoking but lately there have been a spate nationally of serious lung injuries related to vaping and at least thirty seven. People have died in Florida. There've been eighty-seven cases with one death. How do we measure the risks from vaping against the benefit here in the studio duty to help walk us through it? We have Kevin Sneed the dean of the University of South Florida's College of Pharmacy and Jackie Toledo Republican State representative for district strict sixty in Tampa. Thank you both for being here. Thank you for having thank you very much so Kevin. Can you describe for me. Exactly what vaping is says for people who might not know and what kind of injuries are we starting to see from it. You know we've gotten away from tobacco smoking and now we have a liquid that in put into a cartridge and when you heat the cartridge up in inhale it turns the liquid solvent into a vape is inhaled and exhaled in the same way. The the we have traditionally seen people do without tobacco smoking but now we had that cartridge full of solvent liquid is inhale the producer. Very heavy. Smoke is flavored and so over time people thought it might be a good alternative to smoking. But now we're seeing much more lung injury What kind of lung injury? Well tell you what that's all over the map right now in terms of the types of lung injury Right now the most injurious one is called Popcorn along we're really going and you kinda almost obliterate the tissue right there in the longest irreversible and we think that may be what is causing many of along injury around the around the country however there have been a number of other chemicals identify Formaldehyde has been identified in vaping a chemical called ACURA. Cleanest been identified So they're seeing some. It's almost like chemical burns in alongs absolutely to an extent prayer. We we can look at it. Maybe chemical injury injury might be a good way to put it. Yeah and even even getting to the point of DNA changes in the Oromia coast of the mouth. Now these there there have been around nineteen eighteen hundred cases across the country and this started around March this year Jackie you've introduced legislation That's related to vaping. Explain the bill that you're introducing legislature pink. You actually filed the bill last year and almost got passed it passed through the Senate so you follow this this bill last year before all of these lung injuries. Yes because I could tell there was writing on the wall that this is a dangerous product. And it's being unregulated. There's no education on it and parents thought it was just vapor kids thought it was just vapor and I knew that if we didn't act that it would become I'm an epidemic and it has become an epidemic and I just don't want to be I don't want Florida to be less than trying to solve and prevent these deaths and injuries from happening. So what is your bill do. You're not making e cigarettes illegal for adults. Are you know what the bill would do would increase the age of smoking and Vaping to twenty one it would make these nicotine dispensing devices part of the tobacco products so that we can regulate them like we do tobacco products and We added this year. We added the ban on the flavor of apes and we also including the smoking of medical marijuana as well to twenty one. I know that Kevin a big concern with a dating and with e cigarettes. I'M GONNA use that interchangeably Spin the children using it down to middle schoolers. Even it's gotten so popular. I think I saw a statistic. Maybe one in in you know twenty five percent of high school students now are saying that they've tried it or or they're doing it absolutely. Let me go back just for a moment in the we knew years ago they even nicotine nicotine in a very young age could lead to some type of All the way called brain injury but but what we call the prefrontal Cortex of the brain and so now. We didn't have a lot of people smoking at that time. Now that we've had a lot more middle school and high school people smoking now. The interest in terms of what the nicotine I'm doing to the brain What is happening in terms of development of the brain and what would that lead to later on in life That's becoming more of an issue. And so I I agree completely. We are having young people period whether it be a eighteen or below Just shouldn't be smoking at all. Okay so you're interchangeably saying thank smoking. Let's keep it to smoking. Well I'm but I'm actually think smoking is well because you know the initial studies that were done actually did indicate indicate that just smoking the nicotine in a cigarette. Smoke could have An effect on the brain and the developing brain of of an adolescent. But we didn't have a lot of people smoking now. We've had many more people doing vaping and now we're going back and having to re studying re kind of reevaluate where we are with nicotine in the developing brain of adolescence. All the way up through eighteen. So I'm I'm putting smoking and bathing in the very same category for young people. Okay Okay and this is where it gets kind of complicated because there were a lot more kids in high school who were smoking cigarettes Now Teen Smoking working levels are at an all time low and some people say. Hey you know maybe you know. VAPING is a lot safer than smoking cigarettes Some studies say ninety five percent safer. And that's we're talking about adults So maybe it's helping the teen. Smoking cigarette smoking looking levels. Come down because they're trying you know vaping well let me give an alternative thought to that. Even you know several years back back in maybe twenty twelve. I went to China and I saw a factory where they manufacture the e cigarette juice and I became very concerned even back then about the solvent. No we forget that we're dissolving nicotine into a liquid that we have to be able to heat up and not have it exploded in your face and not have it burn your mouth and then the volume mm-hmm of of of inhaling far more than what we were doing even with a single cigarette and so even though we may have seen more smoking a cigarette. Smoking with children holdren earlier many about a decade ago. I'm really concerned about not just only the chemical but the volume of chemicals that were pushing across the long. Because if you walk around you can see people know they have a very very big vape machine and it has a Lotta juice. And they're inhaling in just an enormous amount is this regulated at all well it's not regulated and that's part of the problem right now. The FDA has not come in and put any stipulation on on identification of the chemicals that go into the vaping the cartridges. Let me just go with you Jackie for a second because one of the things. I think that we want to talk about is selling to adults versus kids vaping. which is what you're wanting to do with your with your legislation? The question I have is right. Now it's illegal for minors under eighteen right to be sold. vaping products e cigarettes is that right. That's correct okay so eighteen and under shouldn't be vaping right now at all You're changing but they are. They are they are in big numbers. So how is changing the the age limit Mitt from eighteen to twenty one going to stop them from vaping when they're vaping now at age at a cutoff age of eighteen so Right now does a great question right now. We have about one hundred and sixty thousand eighteen year olds in our high schools so this bill is about access and they. These kids are getting these products from their peers. People that they're in school with their brothers and sisters So if if we just re Increase the to twenty one will result in a fifty five percent reduction in tobacco use between eighteen and twenty and about a sixty one percent reduction in children fourteen to seventeen tobacco. Use Your meaning us both And you had mentioned earlier the trends of People Smoking Kids Smoking and You had mentioned that it was increasing. It was actually decreasing. If you look now I said Said we're at I said we're at historic lows for teen smoking. Yeah and it has been Trending that way for many years we were at a all-time low of eight point eight percent of of Kids highschoolers Smoking and that's when I believe and I think it's because it wasn't cool to smoke. People had that so it wasn't socially acceptable to smoke so now they came up with a new product. The same companies as big tobacco companies came up with a new product. That's cool they they targeted young people with the flavors of Cotton Candy. They started creating these ads that had younger people in it so it made it look like it was cool. It's on snapchat. I mean I. I know they've pulled a lot of this marketing and advertising to young people but they have they pulled they'd be able to because we started to want to regulate it. We started pushing for bills So it goes hand in hand. They May self-regulate but we also need to have some sort of legislation to protect our youth. And that's what this bill will do And I I truly believe that increasing see the age of smoking and vaping In anything putting into your lungs will help decrease the access that they have I worry arena. Let me let me add a quick point. Well because you know when when electronic cigarettes I came out. We weren't having all the flavoring that we have right now but as time went on we saw much more flavoring. Now we really questioning whether or not the flavoring leading to some of the lung injury and so I know the FDA has paid particular attention to that you were asking the earlier you know right now and the adulterated cartridge of the pupil just injecting their own or making their own getting. You're getting off the streets. We're finding a UH of vitamin E. Samples for example in these conscious that about. I rented all that vitamin E. Tape. Acetate what wildwood someone be would buy that like. What's the what's the attraction putting vitamin E.? And your vaping healthy or I'm not really sure what the attraction for that has been finally. Yeah they're finding in a lot more of the adulterated products and as a result of that We're finding a lot more injury and it hasn't always been that way so there has been a mark transition and wherever we started maybe ten years ago to now but we are here now. I'm very very much in favor of everything represented the Toledo was doing. I WanNa talk about the flavors favors. You said that they've started flavoring more and The thing is the flavors are popular with adults too. I mean you say Cotton Candy whatever you know is marketed marketed towards kids and it does sound like it. But as a matter of fact those are the popular flavors And so some critics say will banning the flavors that are popular for adults for the fruit flavors. And saying. Hey we're going to ban those flavors first of all who decides which flavors are acceptable which flavors art and then second of all If adults can't have the flavors they like and they're told well you can only have nicotine flavored tobacco flavored vaping. They might say well. You know what I'll just smoke cigarette then and that's really what doctors are trying to get the patients away from. I mean I understand that There's a lot of concerns with minors liners and children doing this. They shouldn't be smoking cigarettes either. But this has been a godsend to a lot of adults who had very hard time giving up cigarettes and and we're able to ingest the nicotine through vaping and get off the cigarettes so you make a good point it was meant to be a cessation device..