According to the United States Surgeon General, usage of electronic systems for nicotine, commonly called vapes, has increased among high school students in the US from 11% in 2017 to 21% in 2018, which are alarming signs. Hence authorities in Maryland have passed several bills in the Maryland General Assembly that could potentially raise the age of vaping and tobacco usage from 18 to 21 years.
Research suggests that the policies in place as of 2018 were not sufficient to stop the spread of nicotine vaping among young students. Besides, raising the legal age, they also have a bill which suggests changing the definition of tobacco products to also include vapor devices, parts, and juices
Various studies have shown that young people have taken to smoking rather increasingly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine out of 10 cigarette smokers had tried smoking by the age of 18. Another survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, shows that roughly one in 10 seniors had vaped in 2017 and that number was roughly one in five in 2018. It is well known that gambling and drinking can be controlled but with smoking, it’s just not so. Those are carcinogens and anything else is just hype.
Another bill is proposed by members of the vaping industry and it is for self-regulation. This would prohibit the sale of vape products from featuring cartoons, teen celebrities or the even the likeness of a person who is younger than 27 on their packaging. This House bill 1185 would also require products to be sold in child-safe as well as tamper-evident packaging.
It is also said that authorities are worried that vaping nicotine among adolescents could lead to smoking tobacco cigarettes later on. Another problem is that there is limited evidence that the chemicals in vape cartridges are fully safe.
Many lawmakers, as well as people on the know about the vaping industry, have criticized marketing techniques aimed at youngsters. Brands of vape juices have known to emulate the flavors of candies, fruits, and breakfast cereals, and their labeling looks very similar to their edible counterparts, according to Rob Garagiola, Vapor Technology Association representative.
According to Garagiola, the bill would require retailers to keep all vape products behind counters and also display prominent signs discouraging minors. They also will increase the maximum fine when it is sold to a minor from $1,000 to $2,500 for a second offense which happens within 2 years of the first.
Many vaping industry bigwigs claim that they are focused in this business to get people off smoking. And they would suggest vapes for any children. All bill related to this including Senate Bill 708 and Senate Bill 895 has been heard by a Senate committee. Advanced with amendments in the chamber, the House bills 1169 and 1185 were heard by a House of Delegates committee in the month of Feb on the 27th.