Technology could help schools stop kids from vaping, lawmaker says
As the nation's attention turns to the potential dangers of vaping, a congressman from New Jersey believes technology holds the key to curbing underage use of e-cigs.
U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, says that after making incredible progress fighting tobacco use among the young, e-cigarette use is soaring.
"The surgeon general declared this an epidemic, for good reason," he said. ""80% of high schoolers said they've used e-cigarettes. It's way up. And you see the same thing with middle schoolers. In fact, information that just came out 1 in 4 high schoolers have said they vaped in the last month."
Gottheimer's proposal includes a full investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of vaping and a ban on all flavors of e-cigarettes.
He says the federal government should consider requiring vaping companies to install chips in devices to jam them when someone enters a school building,
"I see the power of technology being a very important tool in helping stop youth vaping," he said.
He says devices can also be installed in school bathrooms that can detect vapors, similar to a smoke detector.
"Some schools are removing the doors from bathroom stalls because because kids are going in there and vaping. You know, that's how aggressive we've got to be," he saod.
Another step in the vaping fight, according to Gottheimer, would be a ban of online e-cigarette sales.
"There's the initial feeling was that for adults, this was a good smoking cessation tool. And the issue that no one really understood when this really started was how much was being targeted at kids in this whole process," he said.
Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5