National Kick Butts Day Brings Attention to E-Cigarettes - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

National Kick Butts Day Brings Attention to E-Cigarettes

Posted:

ARDMORE, OK -- Wednesday was National Kick Butts Day, a time for youths to stand up against smoking. But a growing threat from electronic cigarettes now brings another danger to young kids.

The schools are closed for spring break and that can mean idle time for students.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more and more middle and high school students are trying e-cigarettes.

"They're easier to get," said Brittany Ivines, a sophomore at Kingston.

CDC studies show that the number of students trying e-cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 to 2012.

Both Brittany Ivines and Michaela Weist don't smoke or use e-cigarettes, but know classmates who do.

"They're sitting at their desk, they hide it in their sleeves and just do that," said Weist.

Janie Horton with Carter County's Tobacco Coalition says overall nicotine addiction is high within the county.

"E-cigarettes are re-glamorizing the act of smoking," said Horton.

Without statutes limiting who can buy e-cigarettes, Horton hopes days like National Kick Butts Day will prevent a new generation from becoming addicted to nicotine.

"The thing is it's a gadget and kids love gadgets," said Horton.

Texomans who have tried e-cigarettes say steps should be taken to regulate them.

"I don't think they should be able to go into a vapor shop or a regular convenient store and pick up a vapor or an e-cigarette at the age of 14," said Heather Marlatt, a parent who has tried e-cigarettes but does not use them.

A bill is currently in the Oklahoma House of Representatives that would limit youth access to electronic cigarettes.

"The federal government and the state of Oklahoma need to mandate that you need to be 18 years of age to buy an e-cigarette or a vapor," said Marlatt. "I think I would like to see that happen."

Simpson says the bill will be heard sometime next week.

Major cities have already taken steps to ban the use of e-cigarettes, but few regulations at the federal level have been aimed at keeping them out of the hands of children.