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Are you aware that vaping has become an epidemic among teens? While the rate of teen cigarette smoking is going down, the number of teenagers who are vaping is rising rapidly, and the truth about vaping health risks is becoming apparent.

According to a 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 50% more high schoolers and middle schoolers vape than smoke. When cigarette smoking and nicotine vaping are added together, nicotine use may actually have increased.

According to the Iowa Youth Survey in 2016, 3% of eighth graders used e-cigarettes. By 2018, their use went up to 8%. A bigger concern was among the 11th grade students. In 2016, 9% were vaping, but by 2018, that number rose to 23%.

We are interested in seeing our legislators address young Iowans’ concerns about vaping, and hopefully passing a bill into law that will raise the age of purchasing vaping products from 18 to 21. This alone is not enough to make a difference. We would like to see these products unavailable for purchase online and delivered to your home.

Currently, you can just click a box claiming you are of age. Age verification upon delivery needs to become law. There also needs to be punishments for possession of such products for those under the legal age.

We feel this is a bipartisan issue and would ask that you contact your local state legislators about this important issue. We are passionate about seeing such a bill become law in the great state of Iowa.

The St. Joseph Catholic School Eighth Grade Class and

Brenda McKone, 21st Century Skills Teacher, St. Joseph Catholic School, DeWitt