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Panel discussion on vaping in York City

Greg Gross
505-5433/@ggrossyd

State Rep. Kevin Schreiber will host a community forum on vaping and the largely unregulated electronic cigarettes this week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate the relatively new nicotine-delivery system, leaving states and municipalities to create their own laws.

A 2014 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 13.4 percent of 22,000 high school-aged students surveyed said they've used an e-cigarette, compared to 9.2 percent who said they've used tobacco cigarettes.

But there are two bills in the state Legislature that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

E-cigarette age limit gains support

Regulations: One of the measures, Senate Bill 751, unanimously passed the Senate in October and has been in the House Judiciary Committee since. The second measure, House Bill 954, was sent to the Senate by a unanimous vote in the House in June. It has been in the Senate Judiciary Committee since that time.

"We learned our lesson from the tobacco industry. Companies can — and do — target kids without regard for their health and well-being if a profit can be made. It is imperative that we act now to keep these products out of our children’s hands," Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren County, wrote in her sponsorship memo of the House bill.

Schreiber is a co-sponsor of the bill.

At the federal level, some of the possible regulatory measures, which were introduced last year, include reviewing new tobacco products for approval by the FDA, prohibiting the sale of such products to minors and requiring health warning labels on certain products. The FDA currently regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco.

Panel: Because of the lack of oversight and health studies, some people believe e-cigarettes don't have any negative effects, some organizations have argued.

The panel discussion, which will highlight health concerns of vaping, will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday  at William Penn High School, 101 W. College Ave, according to the release from Schreiber's office.

Janise Bankard, a program specialist with the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania; Marie Drawbaugh, a tobacco education and cessation counselor at Wellspan Health; and Dr. Kathryn Palisoc of Memorial Hospital's medicine department, will join Schreiber on the panel.

The event is sponsored by Schreiber’s office, the York City, Eat Play Breathe York, Wellspan Health, Memorial Hospital, the American Lung Association and the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco. The forum, dubbed "Clearing the Air on Vaping,” is free to attend.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.