Shilling Co-Authors Bill to Address Vaping Usage

MADISON, WI – In an effort to address the vaping epidemic among Wisconsin middle and high school students, Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Representative Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) are introducing LRB-5169 that would require a license to sell e-cigarette and vapor products. As part of the Vaping Awareness Prevention Enforcement (VAPE) package, LRB-5169 addresses the retail sale of vapor products by strengthening consumer protections and providing resources to monitor and investigate instances of illegal retail sale of vapor products to youth, advertisements targeting youth, and other harmful activities.

“Vaping has become a widespread problem with Wisconsin’s youth that is causing dangerous, and sometimes lethal, injuries,” said Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “In conversations with local health officials, school leaders, and concerned parents, it is clear that comprehensive action needs to be taken. By strengthening license requirements for retailers and increasing consumer protections we can help keep Wisconsin students safe and healthy.”

According the Department of Health Services, from 2014 to 2018 there was a 154% increase in e-cigarette use by Wisconsin high school students and a 272% increase for middle school students. Currently one in five Wisconsin high school students are current e-cigarette users. E-cigarettes contain the addictive drug nicotine along with heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead which are known to affect health and development. As of January 2020, the Center for Disease Control have reported 2,602 lung injury cases that require hospitalization and 59 deaths linked to vaping.