Vaping age limit would be 21 under Wisconsin proposal

(Pixabay, License Link)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin lawmakers are moving ahead with a bill that would limit the sale of vaping and other tobacco products to people over age 21.

The Assembly committee on substance abuse and prevention held a hearing on the bipartisan proposal Wednesday.

The measure would increase the minimum age for buying products containing nicotine and tobacco from 18 to 21. It would also prohibit anyone from selling or providing vaping paraphernalia, such as vape pens, to anyone under 21.

Proponents argue it would stunt the growth in popularity of e-cigarettes among young people. Use by high school students is increasing despite concerns about damage the chemicals in the devices may cause to the heart and lungs.

The principal of Arrowhead High School in Waukesha County brought a box filled with e-cigarettes to the Assembly Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention. Gregg Wieczorek said all of them were confiscated from his students and told lawmakers vaping is taking over the school.

"I became a principal to make an impact on our youth. Unfortunately, I'm spending way too much time tackling the vaping problem when I there are other things I should be doing," the principal said.

The bill would have to pass both the Senate and Assembly and be signed by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)