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Hoping to make a difference, South Carolina politicians are pushing back on the e-cigarette industry for the recent spike in teenagers vaping.

A South Carolina vaping bill designed to make it more challenging for teenagers to get their hands on vaping devices via online unanimously passed the State House on Feb. 6, following a third reading. Now on the Senate’s calendar, the measure was one of the first House actions this session where all the lawmakers acted in unison, according to WMBF.   

The main issue?

The Internet was proving to be a popular portal for teens to purchase e-cigarette products.

No more, South Carolina lawmakers say.

If the legislation eventually transforms into law, individuals attempting to complete an online sale will need to validate they are at least 18 years old.

It’s an obvious attempt by elected officials to create a virtual firewall to block minors from obtaining vape devices, WMBF reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.6 million U.S. high school and middle school students experienced vaping at least once in 2018.

To cut into that figure, the S.C. bill calls for a vaping ban on public school property, according to WMBF.

Reflecting back to the 1970s and 1980s, when a majority of high schools – like mine – had “designated smoking areas,” Rep. Alan Clemmons supported the bill’s efforts to limit the opportunities for minors to partake in the modern vice.

“I remember well,” Clemmons said. “My friends having designated smoking areas on the school grounds where children were able to go smoke. We certainly don’t want, or I don’t want, that slide to happen in South Carolina with regard to the more popular forms of smoking today – vaping.”

Despite several studies proclaiming e-cigarettes are significantly less risky than traditional cigarettes, Conway Medical Center’s Dr. Justin Pandoo told WMBF: “It’s definitely better than obviously the cigarettes, but the long and short of it is, it’s the lesser of two evils.”

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