The House of Representatives passed a bill Monday to restrict online sales of vaping products and e-cigarettes.
The legislation, the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, would require an adult to sign for vaping products delivered by mail. It’s the latest measure to advance in the House with the goal of ending a vaping epidemic partly caused by flavors that appeal to kids.
“This legislation is not a silver bullet to end the youth vaping epidemic — which is why I have called for a ban on all e-cigarette products and comprehensive legislation to address the issue — but it is a good start,” Rosa DeLauro, the Connecticut Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement.
The bill covers the e-cigarettes as well as extends to the liquids that go into e-cigarettes. Vape pods sold online in flavors that aren’t available in stores fall under the bill’s purview and require an adult’s signature.
The bill comes as the nation faces a spike in illnesses related to vaping. According to the Washington Examiner, as of last week, the number of people with e-cigarette- and vaping-related lung injuries has jumped to 1,604 across 49 states, and 34 people have died.
People who died as a result of a mysterious outbreak of vaping-related lung injury often used products exclusively containing THC, the main psychoactive substance in cannabis, according to new numbers released Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among 19 such deaths with data available on what substances had been vaped, 63% reported exclusive use of products containing THC, 84% reported any use of these products, 37% reported vaping products containing nicotine, and 16% said they’d only vaped nicotine-containing products.
CNN reported that most of the deaths occurred in victims older than those sickened in the outbreak. Just 2% of cases, but almost a quarter of deaths, happened among people over 65. Of 29 deaths analyzed in the new report, the median age was 45, and 59% were male. The youngest death was 17, and the oldest 75.
Evidence suggests that the main cause of the outbreak is bootleg THC cartridges, or e-liquids made with the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised against using both nicotine and THC vaping liquids.