Now at six-- there's an alarming trend your children may be part of... that's catching the attention of washington lawmakers... ("1:34:00"friends of mine can't go a single waking hour without getting a hit of nicotine," brix") national data shows--nearly one in three high school seniors says they've used electronic cigarettes... experts say many of those kids are getting the nicotine products from 18-year-old classmates and friends.
That's why washington state lawmakers are trying--once again--to raise the minimum legal age to buy tobacco--and vaping products--to 21.
Legislation to raise the tobacco age has been introduced in the past--last year advocates saw some momentum when a similar bill passed the state house in the final days of the session.-- but time ran out.
Kxly 4's ariana lake explains where house bill 10-74 is now..
House bill 10-74 took its first step in the legislature with a public hearing this week.
That's where some students urged lawmakers to take action--to save their friends from addiction.
1:31:34"when i was 15, i started using vapor products," langermadison langer says that's when her addiction started.
The small, high tech e-gicarette didn't taste bad..
1:31:49"it was captain crunch flavored," langerit was easy to hide and even easier to get.
1:32:20"i would get everything from 18 year olds at our school.
It was very easy.
Langerlanger is one of thousands of teens in washington state who started smoking before 18.
That's why state attorney general bob ferguson and the state department of health are requesting the legal age to buy tobacco--and vaping products-- increase to 21 in the state.
Ag ferguson10:57 "without a change, tobacco addiction will dramatically shorten the lives of more than 100-thousand washington children who are alive today-- that is the equivalent of approximately 30 school buses of children per legislative district,"fergusonwashington would join six states--and nearly 400 cities and counties that have already raised the age to buy tobacco to 21.
But not everyone supports the idea..1:30:50"i know all the health concerns and i..but that's my freedom," orellana elena orellanastarted smoking two years ago--when she was 17.
She doesn't support the age increase--and says if passed--it won't make a difference.
1:31:14"so if you make it 21, it's not gonna make any difference.
It's just gonna cause more children, more young adults to go buy it for them illegally, like they do alcohol," orellanaif passed by the legislature--and signed into law by the governor--the age raise would take effect january 1 of 20-20.
Some companies are taking their own steps to address teen addiction.
Late last year--juul--which is a popular vaping company--shut down its social media accounts and stopped selling flavored pods.
Kxly 4 news.