The U.S. Surgeon General has declared youth vaping an epidemic. Many underage kids, worldwide and right here in Siouxland, are getting their hands on e-cigarettes
When e-cigarettes first came on the market, they were to help adult smokers stop smoking. Now, the U.S. Surgeon General is calling e-cigarettes “a youth epidemic.”
Steven Holverson thinks it’s too easy for teens to get their hands on them.
“It’s like cigarettes. It should be regulated a little more sternly if not banned altogether in my opinion, but that’s my opinion,” said Holverson.
According to a new U.S. Surgeon General Report, nicotine can mess with a developing brain. It’s addictive and the chemicals in the vapor may be unhealthy to inhale.
Doctor Patrick Beck is a pediatrician in Sioux City.
“It’s not something that is harmful to their lungs like the tar and everything else that is in cigarettes but it is something that is effective on their minds,” said Beck.
Jayce Gustafson manages “Chasing Clouds,” a vape shop in Sioux City.
“I can tell you exactly how this is happening and that is online sales, 100 percent. Until recently, online sales didn’t require any sort of age verification. Anyone with a debit card could go online. You can order it online at a fraction of a price of what we have here,” said Gustafson.
“Cigarettes are a little harder to get. I think they are having an easier time vaping or getting vaping materials,” said Holverson about the teenagers.
Gustafson said his store and others in the area are careful to check IDs at the time of sale.