EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFDA Considering Regulation For E-Cigarette Companies
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Chris Williams
Reported: Jun. 19, 2014 6:22 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 19, 2014 9:59 PM EDT
Cross Lanes , Kanawha County , West Virginia
E-cigarettes have not been around too long, but already they are creating a lot of controversy.
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are talking about whether or not E-cig companies are marketing their product to kids.
E-cigarettes come in different shapes and sizes, but generally look the same. When someone uses an E-cig, an odorless vapor comes out. Many people who use them do so to try and quit smoking regular cigarettes.
"I was smoking for about six years, a pack a day. Never thought I’d get away from it," former smoker Kris Witters said.
Witters quit smoking three months ago, and has been using E-cigs since. He said the switch has been life changing.
However, Congress says E-cigarette companies are marketing to kids by selling different flavors of E-cigarettes, like "Cherry Crush" and "Pina Colada."
At a hearing in April, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said, "the last thing we want to do is encourage young people to start using nicotine."
Emily Wilson, general manager of WV Mountain Vapor, disagreed with Rockefeller's take.
"That is not our market place," she said. "Our marketplace is with smokers - smokers that are unhealthy, who need to switch for their life."
The Centers for Disease Control did a survey in 2012, and almost 2 million teenagers said they tired an e-cigarette at least once. However, WV Mountain Vapor said they ID anyone who comes into the store.
"We've got signs up all throughout the shop that say 'Nobody under 18 allowed,' " Brittany Perry, the assistant manger of WV Mountain Vapor, said.
The Food and Drug Administration still has the option to regulate how e-cigarette companies market their product, but they said they want more evidence of teen usage before they impose more restrictions.
"This should just stay for trying to get off of cigarettes," Witters said.
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