Texas lawmakers meeting to discuss vaping epidemic

State lawmakers are brainstorming ways to discourage young Texans from picking up a dangerous habit.

Texas Senate’s Committee on Health and Human Services met to discuss the vaping epidemic. A variety of ideas were presented.

One was higher penalties for retailers selling to minors. Another was for e-cigarette businesses to be taxed like the tobacco industry.

One state senator suggested a statewide vaping ban could be possible.

New data found e-cigarette use has drastically increased among Texas teenagers even after hundreds of people became sick.

“The FDA data is showing the majority of these individuals, youth individuals, are getting these from convenience stores and general stores. Therefore, we could make a huge impact overnight by just moving these flavored products into 21-and-over shops,” said Schell Hammel with the Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association.

As of Dec. 2, the Texas Department of State Health Services identified 273 possible cases of severe lung disease in Texas related to vaping.

In 90 percent of the cases, the patients reported using a product in their e-cigarette that contained some THC.