HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood recently called vaping an “epidemic” amongst teenagers and wants to warn parents about the dangers of vaping.
“It is an epidemic because parents don't know their kids are vaping,” Hood said. “It's these little thumb drive looking devices that they are smoking, and they can easily hide it.”
According to the attorney general, vape devices are now the preferred choice for teens. The buy rate for vape devices comes in at a total of 19 percent, while cigarettes have decreased to 2.8 percent.
“So, there’s a problem with them selling vape devices to kids,” Hood stated.
While the Hood and local vape stores might have opposite views about vaping (when it comes to health conditions), one thing they both agree on is that these devices should not be found in the hands of anyone under 18.
“We don't support teen vaping either,” the president of the Mississippi Vaping Advocacy Association and CEO of Vaporized Inc., William Wikstrom said. “Any responsible business owner would never want to be someone who sells to minors.”
Wikstrom explained that according to the FDA, vape stores are not the biggest suppliers of teen vaping.
“Professor Gottlieb who is the head of the FDA recently said on CNBC that he understands it's not the vape shops that are selling to minors, but it’s the c-stores (convenient stores),” Wikstrom explained.
Either way, the pressure remains on parents to make sure their kids are not one of the 2 million that are vaping around the country.