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More and More Kids Smoking Electronic Cigarettes [AUDIO]

Electronic cigarettes are growing in popularity among adults because they’re odorless and smokeless, but that’s exactly the same reason the use of e-cigarettes among children is skyrocketing.

E-Cigarettes
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

With no smoke or smell, if kids are using electronic cigarettes, it’s tougher for parents to know if they’re smoking. A pair of New Jersey lawmakers are now asking the federal government to get involved.

“Not only are electronic cigarettes a nicotine delivery device, which obviously is addictive, but there’s also other chemicals often in there and there’s also irritants, so there’s damage than can occur,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton Square). “Because of the marketing, especially with the different flavors that we’re seeing out there, we’re concerned — is this being marketed to children?”

An Assembly resolution, co-sponsored by Benson and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) urges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Congress, and the President to enact measures overseeing the sale and use of electronic smoking devices, and to conduct research regarding the devices’ impact on the health of users and third parties.

“We’re just asking for the federal government, which really has purview over this area, to do their job,” Benson said. “The use of electronic cigarettes, we’re seeing it’s nearly doubled among children in recent years, and that’s really where our concern is coming in.”

Minors are not allowed to purchase or possess electronic cigarettes in New Jersey, but Benson said they are clearly finding ways to get them.

The health and safety implications of using electronic cigarettes are unknown, according to Benson. New Jersey is among the many state, county and local governments that have enacted measures designed to restrict the sale and use of electronic smoking devices.

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