(MADISON) –Today, Senator Patty Schachtner (D- Somerset) introduced legislation aimed at reducing youth vaping. Governor Tony Evers and his administration have also taken executive action to address consumer protection, healthcare, and law enforcement concerns around e-cigarette use.
In Wisconsin, one in three high school students have tried e-cigarettes and one in five are current users. The vapor produced by e-cigarettes is made up of harmful chemicals, heavy metals, and addictive nicotine which can harm part of the brain that control attention and learning. Studies have also shown that teens that use e-cigarettes are three times as likely to become cigarette smokers.
To address this growing threat to public health, Senator Schachtner has introduced four pieces of legislation aimed at reducing e-cigarette use among our kids.
“Over the years, we have made great progress in cutting back on youth tobacco use through public health initiatives, and now it’s time we apply those same initiatives to reduce e-cigarette use. The health of our kids is too important,” said Senator Schachtner.
Senator Schachtner has authored LRB 5217 which will fund a public health campaign aimed at teens to prevent e-cigarette use and create a grant program to support organizations in our local communities that are already working to address youth vaping. She is also authoring LRB 5216 which will update the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ authority to declare public health emergencies for situations like the vaping epidemic. LRB 5342 will also prohibit vaping on school premises to keep learning environments safe and healthy. Senate Bill 118, which Senator Schachtner has cosponsored, will require retailers to store e-cigarettes behind the counter just like other tobacco products to keep them out of the hand of kids.
“E-cigarettes are addictive and can be harmful, especially for young kids. We are stepping up to support parents, educators, and public health officials that have been working to raise the alarm on this issue. This legislation will help slow down the growth of the vaping epidemic spreading across our communities, and reduce future use among our youth,” continued Senator Schachtner.