New legislation proposed to cut back on e-cigarette flavors

Cake batter, gummy bears and lemonade; sounds like things your kids like, right? They’re also the flavor of e-cigarettes and now Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants federal intervention to crack down on kid-friendly flavorings of e-cigs and cigars. 

"This one is the blue slushie lemonade so it kind of taste like a slushie you would get from a gas station or something," said Courtney Snyder. 

Snyder says she’s been smoking e-cigarettes for a couple years and started when she began college.

"Just to waste time I guess," said Snyder. 

New legislation called the Safe Kids Act, sponsored by Durbin, would place strong restriction on e-cigarette flavorings and ban flavorings in cigars. 

"Children make impulsive decisions," said Durbin. "They don’t have the maturity and the kind of experience to make the right decisions and they’re lured to these candy flavors."

Durbin says the use of e-cigarettes and cigars is on the rise. In fact, he says there has been a more than 600 percent increase from just five years ago. 

"More and more kids are becoming nicotine addicted because of these vaping tools that they’re carrying around," said Durbin.

Snyder says she smokes flavors with a zero nicotine count. If flavors were banned she may turn to other sources of vaping which may end up being worse for her health.

"I would probably explore other options," said Snyder. "Not like smoking wise but like different flavors. I don’t like menthol things but I’d try it."

The American Vaping Association has responded, criticizing Durbin’s legislation by saying flavors are critical in helping many adult smokers break their taste for cigarettes. 

Durbin says the bill has bipartisan support, including from Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska.

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