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Bill would raise vaping age to 21 in Nebraska

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 16:53:31-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The bill would change the vaping age, but not the legal age to use tobacco. Leaving some worried teens looking for a nicotine rush will opt for a pack of cigarettes instead.

"I think kids would resort to smoking if they took vaping away," says Lyon.

While UNO student Brendon Lyon says he doesn't vape, almost all his friends in do.Typically using the popular JUUL brand.

"A lot of kids are legit addicted to it and they have to JUUL otherwise they get mad and angry."

The idea behind the proposal from Senator Dan Quick would be to cut the rapidly rising use in high school.

The CDC says vaping among high school kids has increased from 1.5% in 2011, to over 20% last year.

Eric Johnson is a parent of two teens and also owns Caterpillar Vapes, which has four metro stores. He knows there is a problem, but is against the current bill. Instead he wants to meet in the middle, as long as the tobacco age is raised along with it.

"19 is probably a good medium between the two in order to help eliminate the possibility that some of these kids are going back to their high school and effectively working as a distribution agent inside of their school system," says Johnson.

Senator Quick told 3 News Now that he thinks his bill has support from other state senators. He’s also open to changes to his bill, as long as it still accomplishes his goal of reducing use among high schoolers.