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Tobacco companies take steps to prevent teen vaping

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 18:22:28-04

KILLEEN, TX — In the past, electronic cigarette companies have received backlash for their products getting into the hands of minors.

However, big companies and people on the local front at vape shops have been taking steps to prevent kids from using their products.

As an employee of a vape shop in Killeen, Justin Cunningham is aware that the products sometimes end up in the hands of minors.

"Well you do see kids that walk around with vapes which obviously are not over the age of 18 to be having them," said Cunningham, who works at Flawless Vape Shop.

Cunningham shared he asks for IDs at checkout and takes further measures.

"Well I work hand and hand with another vape shop. I know the owners there and if they have a problem with a kid that's underage going into the shop trying to purchase one, they will have a photo sent to me. Well I can see who it was and if they try to come into my store I can stop it there," said Cunningham.

He is not the only one in the industry taking further steps. As a part of their efforts to prevent youth use, if you have confiscated a JUUL product from a minor, you can report the tracking number to the company and the team will use the report to determine where the product came from and where it was sold.

When it comes to keeping these out of the hands of minors, experts shared there is a reason.

"You still don't know the longitudinal effects and also being younger, being a youth, you are more sensitive to those chemicals as opposed to an adult. So you do have a more sensitive inflammatory response to those inhaled chemicals so you are still at a risk of developing a lung cancer," said Jodi Flaherty, a registered respiratory therapist at AdventHealth Central Texas.

Central Texas News Now also reached out to local school districts to see what they do on the home front to prevent the issue. School districts in Bell County confirmed their campuses are both tobacco and drug free.