Two Georgia lawmakers say they intend to introduce a bill during the next legislative session that would crack down on vaping, which has been connected to one death and several other lung illnesses in the state. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Gabby Jones
Photo: Gabby Jones
Photo: Gabby Jones

Bill targeting vaping will be introduced in Georgia Legislature

Two Georgia lawmakers announced Thursday that they plan to introduce a bill to crack down on vaping, which has resulted in one death and several lung illnesses so far in the state.

It’s unclear how their bill would limit vaping, but possibilities include banning the sale of flavored tobacco vaping products or restricting advertising targeted at children, state Rep. Gerald Greene said.

“I view it as a crisis,” said Greene, a Republican from Cuthbert. “When 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds are doing it, then we do have a problem on our hands. We want to call attention to it on the legislative level. … If it takes doing what other states have done, like Michigan, to ban it? We’ll see.”

Michigan’s ban on the sale of flavored vaping products went into effect Wednesday following an emergency order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more than 1,080 lung injury cases related to vaping. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. Most patients are age 34 or younger.

“As a mother of teenagers, I have firsthand knowledge of the insidious and harmful effects of youth vaping,” said state Rep. Bonnie Rich, a Republican from Suwanee.

Greene and Rich said they plan to talk with health experts and community members before introducing a bill. Legislation could be considered by the Georgia General Assembly when its 2020 session begins in January.

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