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Florida's state attorney general calls for parents' help to tackle vaping 'epidemic'

Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 18:24:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — We need the help of parents. That's what the state's attorney general says as she tries to tackle a vape "epidemic" among Florida teens.

According to a Public Health survey last year, one in four Florida high school students reported using e-cigarettes. That's a 58% increase compared to last year.

For the last few weeks, Attorney General Ashley Moody has been traveling the state to educate people on vaping risks and the law forbidding minors from use. She told us, while vape shops have to take some of the blame, parents do as well.

Moody said she's discovered too often parents are giving kids e-cigarettes thinking they're a harmless habit.

“It is alarming that we find ourselves in a situation, again, where we have a nicotine habit that is skyrocketing, spiraling out of control," said Moody. "I refuse to let that happen.”

Long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are still unknown. But, some of the ingredients in vape aerosol might be harmful to lungs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently reviewing 153 possible cases of severe lung disease in states, including Florida, potentially tied to vaping.