Iowa House Bill Reclassifies Vaping Products as a Tobacco Product

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(Des Moines, IA) -- A bill in the Iowa House would change the way the state views vaping products.

"It would basically treat vaping products the same way as nicotine, as far as taxes are concerned," says State Representative Steven Holt. He tells WHO Radio News this law is another step in showing the dangers of vaping.

Holt also says legislating these products is a complicated issue.

"There's a lot of kids that are vaping, and I'm concerned long-term about the implications to health," says Holt. "While I understand the idea that these products could help people get off tobacco, I'm also concerned about their safety."

According to a study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 34.5% of high school seniors used nicotine vaping products in 2020. The NIDA study consisted of over 11,800 students across 112 school across the United States.

The study also finds that 30.7% of 10th graders and 16.6% of 8th graders vape.

Holt says this opens the conversation on how to educate younger generations on the effects of vaping.

"Vaping is pretty new, and so, we may not know yet, all of the health implications relating to ingesting this chemicals. At the same time, data suggests that it's better for you than tobacco," states Holt. "However, that doesn't mean it's good for you. I think we need to continue educating, and continue having this discussion."

The House Republican from Denison says current law bars anyone under the age of 21 to buy vape products, but teen use fake ID's and other means to get around the law.

"My wife's a high school teacher and the number of students who come in with these little things, they look like they're something you plug into a computer, but in fact, they're things for vaping," says Holt. "There's all kinds of ways that kids are hiding it. Clearly, there's a lot of kids who are starting to vape, just like my generation, a lot of kids started smoking when they were in junior high, or high school."

Representative Steven Holt says he's concerned about the growing number of teenagers and children using products with nicotine.

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