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Vaping legislation focused on underage use goes to the Kentucky Senate

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The Kentucky General Assembly is tackling the issue of teenage vaping. It comes in the form of additional regulation related to the manufacturing disclosure and sale of vape products.

London GOP Senator Brandon Storm told committee members the bill’s an attempt to curb underage exposure to illicit E-vapor. Kentucky law prohibits the sale of vapor products to those under 21. During his testimony Laurel County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele spoke about vape-related emergencies.

“We’re taking kids out of schools on ambulances and gurneys and take them to the hospital because they are catatonic. And they don’t know what they smoked and what they took because there’s no regulation unless it’s nicotine,” said Steele.

Among other things, the bill calls for having a state list of compliant products in a directory. Kentucky Vape Store Owner Tony Florence said that would lead to the vast removal of currently available vape products and shut down stores statewide. Florence would like to see more restrictions regarding point of purchase.

“What we should do is make sure the flavored product and the flavored disposables all go to age-gated vapor stores and leave gas stations with the tobaccos and menthol stuff and leave it at that and what that does it lets the vapor companies police and monitor these products. They don’t go into kids’ hands,” said Florence.

Florence said the measure would result in 99% of vape products going away and the closure of scores of vape stores. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said enforcement is the pressing issue. Purchasing vaping products under the age of 21 is prohibited. Thayer said eventually vaping products may need to be treated like alcohol. The Senate leader anticipates further changes to the bill to address retailers’ concerns.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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