Gov. Lee looks for ‘clarity’, data on vaping deaths before considering new laws

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With a possible cause of recent vaping deaths, Gov. Bill Lee says when there’s clarity around the issue, there will probably be movement with new laws.

“If there is evidence around any issue where our children are protected and the health of our citizens is improved, then I am very interested in that,” the governor said on Tuesday after a gathering of CEOs in Nashville. “We are tracking it and we are following it and I think as there is clarity around where the real issue is, then you will probably see movement.”

As more than three dozen deaths by those who vape — including two in Tennessee — struck the country in recent months, there had been no identifiable cause until the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week listed Vitamin E acetate as a potential culprit.

“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries,” said the CDC on its website Thursday.

The Tennesse Department of Health (TDH) on its website last week said: “While this investigation is ongoing, TDH and the centers for disease control and prevention recommend Tennesseans consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products.”

In the midst of this, Tennessee lawmaker Ron Gant plans a bill raising the age to purchase vaping products from 18-to-21.

The proposal would also raise the tobacco smoking age from 18-to-21 as well.

President Trump has indicated new federal vaping rules could come this week and they might include raising the legal age to 20 or 21.

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