There should be an immediate moratorium on the sale of flavored vaping projects in Columbia until the Columbia/Boone County Board of Health can draft legislation that permanently regulates the products, according to a board report to the Columbia City Council.
The City Council will hear the report at its Monday meeting. The board is asking for the immediate moratorium and permission to draft the permanent legislation.
The board cites two reasons for its request: the recent and dramatic rise of vaping by youth and the ongoing nationwide outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use.
In the single year from 2017 and 2018, e-cigarette use rose 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. While there is no local survey data, the board said anecdotal evidence indicates e-cigarette use is common among youth in Columbia, even in schools.
One of the things that makes this stark rise in youth vaping so worrisome is the outbreak of lung injuries. As of Tuesday, there have been 1,888 vaping-related lung injuries and 37 deaths nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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