CHESHIRE – Town council members said they will consider raising the minimum age to purchase electronic nicotine delivery systems following a presentation Tuesday night by a Yale researcher.
The town’s ordinance review committee could recommend raising the age for purchasing vaping devices from 18 to 21, a restriction implemented by Hartford and being considered by Meriden and Wallingford.
Tricia Dahl, a researcher who has worked in smoking cessation, talked about the harmful health effects of vaping. The Wallingford resident said the devices have been marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but that youths aren’t aware that the electronic devices still have risks.
“There are top athletes in (area) schools that I know for a fact are vaping,” Dahl said during Tuesday night’s meeting. “They wouldn’t do it if they knew what it was doing to them.”
Town Council Chairman Rob Oris said he feels teens have a “false sense of security” in vaping.
Councilor Peter Talbot said the council should consider raising the minimum age for buying nicotine products to 21.
The Wallingford Town Council's ordinance committee is slated to consider a draft ordinance on tobacco products on Feb. 5.
Parents at Tuesday’s presentation asked about educating youth, how to tell flavored pods from marijuana oil pods and marketing of the products. Parents also said vaping occurs at Cheshire High School despite prohibitions.
Dahl said she checks her own children’s texts and backpacks.
“I am ultimately my child’s parent. I’m in charge when they live in my house,” she said.
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