CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS)–The American Heart Association (AHA) is joining with other health organizations in a campaign they are calling “#QuitLying.” Leaders said they are bringing awareness to how the e-cigarette industry targeted teenagers in order to convinced them vaping is a safe alternative to smoking.
Kanawha County School Superintendent, Ron Duerring, spoke about how vaping has impacted students. A study Nationwide shows that 1 in 4 high school students are vaping. In West Virginia, 14.3% of high school students admit to using e-cigarettes.
A class action lawsuit was filed in West Virginia against JUUL Labs, Inc. and other companies back in August 2019. That suit was over the targeting their marketing of products to teens.
59News spoke to Tyler Lockhart, the owner of Hazy Hollow Vapors in Charleston, WV. He told us that his store and many stores around the area do not sell JUUL Products. If anything he says that his store is anti-JUUL.
Lockhart also stated that within his store he mainly sees customers between the ages of 35-50 and he does not sell to anyone under the age of 18. He has not seen any anti-vape protesters outside of his store because he provides the science of vaping.
Kevin Pauley, Communication Director with the AHA in Charleston WV, said within the past two years the number of teens who vape nationwide has doubled. The American Heart Association is calling for the “Big Vape” remove all flavored e-cigarette cartridges from stores.
Lockhart told 59News if he removed flavored e-cigarette cartridges, he would go out of business within a week. He also said that according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians in London, e-cigarettes help convert smokers off of cigarettes. Lockhart claims that is because they have a variety of flavors from which smokers can choose.
Lockhart believes that the idea of e-cigs hurting people are coming from the false sciences that have been published. He stated people buying the flavor from the black market could be dangerous because they could put harmful things in those cartridges.