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Senator Romney hosts roundtable discussion to get input on vaping issues

Local (Utah/State News)

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – In the wake of Utah’s first vaping-related death one of our senators is in search of solutions.

And, he’s turning to healthcare professionals and advocates for ideas.

At Primary Children’s Hospital, Senator Mitt Romney is hosting a round table discussion on what he calls a “health crisis.”

“That is because our vaping products are causing a lot of people to be ill, and in some cases causing death,” said Romney, (R) Utah.

In response, Romney has introduced the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies or ENND Act.

The bill would prohibit flavored vaping products, prohibit the use of refillable cartridges and apply the existing tobacco excise tax to e-cigarette products.

The senator is also seeking input from those on the front lines.

Dr. Joni Hemond, with the University Department of Pediatrics, says they are seeing children as young as 12 vaping, and they don’t know the risk.

“They will see smoking as really something terrible, and vaping as something that is safe and fun. So, there is a discrepancy there,” said Hemond.

Brook Carlisle with the American Cancer Society is frustrated with the FDA. She says they are not regulating the products and they should be.

“The one thing we would really like to see is the FDA stepping up, setting some product regulations and forcing these manufacturers to submit their applications to the FDA, so we know what’s in these products,” said Carlisle.

Senator Romney says he plans to follow up on that with the FDA, and with the CDC to find out what they are learning from their investigations.

Romney also says he expects a fight from the industry, but he’s prepared for it.

“The forces pushing against you are significant, but as we’ve heard from the medical representatives today, the impact on lives is more significant,” Romney said.

Another warning from medical professionals is the vaping illnesses resemble the flu.

They say if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and you vape, get checked out.

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