House Bill 97 was voted upon on Tuesday but the Judiciary Committee. The vote was unanimously approved by the committee to move it a step closer on the pathway of becoming law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a Pennsylvania State House bill to ban the sale of e-cigarette vaping products to minors and in addition to also to ban their use on school grounds. This Pennsylvania House Bill is in agreement with a vaping policy that was just released by a federal agency on Wednesday.

The bill that was approved by the House committee deals with the sale and the purchase of the electronic nicotine delivery systems in the form of the e-cigarettes, Juules and the vape pens. These products also come in a variety of different flavors. These flavors as an example are mango, creme, bubble gum and mango.

Explanation of those members that are in support of the the House bill have indicated that these flavored vaping products that do not contain nicotine under the new ban should it become law be will also be banned. The reason for this ban by definition is explained that lawmakers do not want to put a burden on the school officials that would need to send these confiscated vaping products to a lab to determine if they actually do contained nicotine or not contain nicotine.

There is also growing expectations that the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will be taking action on vaping sales and use to minors.

The Food and Drug Administrator Scott Gottlieb stated that these flavored products have become very popular with teens and this is something that is acting as a catalyst in the rising vaping epidemic issues amongst teens. “The epidemic rise on youth e-cigarette use has prompted a series of escalated actions by the FDA in both enforcement and public education,” Gottlieb stated.” Evidence has shown that youth are especially attracted to flavored e-cigarette products. Minors are also able to easily purchase these products from both retailers and on line retailers as well.

The FDA is in the beginning of purposing the following restrictions:

  • Putting new restrictions on most flavored e-cigarettes.
  • Advance the agency’s deadline to review the look at new flavored products containing nicotine to an August 8, 2021 deadline.
  • To allow the FDA to pull e-cigartetts from the market.
  • Limit the sales of flavored nicotine products to websites, vape shops and other retailers that have age restrictions.

Rep. Kathy Rapp, (Warren-R), is the sponsor of House Bill 97. Rapp has referred, and provided the warnings that have been issued by medical authorities, that high doses of nicotine that are available in many of these products have a negative affect on younger adolescent brain development. In addition, the long term effects that may be caused by inhaling vaporized chemicals are unknown at this time. If passed into law, the Rapp bill will make the purchase and use of electronic nicotine delivery systems on school grounds by a minor a summary offense.

Readers of The Daily Herald will be updated on the status of this House Bill 97 as it moves along the pathway and possibility off becoming law here in Pennsylvania as they become available.

Chuck Banas can be reached at cbanas@thedailyherald.net.

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