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Senator Romney hosts round table discussion to get input on vaping issues


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – In the wake of Utah’s first vaping-related death one of our senators is in search of solutions.

And,
he’s turning to healthcare professionals and advocates for ideas.

At
Primary Children’s Hospital, Senator Mitt Romney is hosting a round
table discussion on what he calls a “health crisis.”

“That
is because our vaping products are causing a lot of people to be ill,
and in some cases causing death,” said Romney, (R) Utah.

In response, Romney has introduced the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies or ENND Act.

The
bill would prohibit flavored vaping products, prohibit the use of
refillable cartridges and apply the existing tobacco excise tax to
e-cigarette products.

The
senator is also seeking input from those on the front lines.

Dr. Joni Hemond, with the University Department of Pediatrics, says they are seeing children as young as 12 vaping, and they don’t know the risk.

“They
will see smoking as really something terrible, and vaping as
something that is safe and fun. So, there is a discrepancy there,”
said Hemond.

Brook
Carlisle with the American Cancer Society is frustrated with the FDA.
She says they are not regulating the products and they should be.

“The
one thing we would really like to see is the FDA stepping up, setting
some product regulations and forcing these manufacturers to submit
their applications to the FDA, so we know what’s in these products,”
said Carlisle.

Senator
Romney says he plans to follow up on that with the FDA, and with the
CDC to find out what they are learning from their investigations.

Romney
also says he expects a fight from the industry, but he’s prepared for
it.

“The
forces pushing against you are significant, but as we’ve heard from
the medical representatives today, the impact on lives is more
significant,” Romney said.

Another
warning from medical professionals is the vaping illnesses resemble
the flu.

They
say if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and you vape, get
checked out.

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