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Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe raises purchase age for vaping; bans flavored products


Last updated 4/8/2020 at 1:44pm


Young adults will now have to be 21 to purchase vaping products.

AKWESASNE, Mohawk Nation-The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council signed Tribal Council Resolution 2019-58 in early December in response to public health concerns associated with vaping and e-cigarette products and their appeal to youth and young adults.

Customers must now be 21 years old to purchase all products associated with vape, e-cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), or similar devices. The resolution also prohibits the retail sale and distribution of all flavored vaping products. Both become effective January 1, 2020.

"Most tobacco use is established during adolescence and often leads to a host of health problems associated with a lifetime of nicotine addiction," stated Tribal Chief Beverly Cook. "Because youth are more likely to take risks with their health and safety, they are at a greater risk of using vaping products that are being marketed with them in mind"

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report that confirmed the use of e-cigarette products is growing among youth and young adults. Flavored vaping products come in a small, sleek device that resembles a USB flash drive-making it easy for middle and high school students to conceal.

"E-cigarette flavors like crème brûlée, mango and fruit medley are being produced and marketed specifically for one consumer group-our youth," stated Tribal Chief Michael Conners. "With so many adverse health effects and fatalities that are just now being made known from inhaling aerosols containing toxic chemicals, we needed to implement measures intended to protect the health and safety for a vulnerable segment of our population."

The signed resolution comes greatly as a result to an alcohol/chemical dependency prevention program on the ill-effects of vaping that the tribe presented in early October, with a Tribal Council Resolution being introduced at the end of the month that sought to increase the purchase age for vaping devices and ban flavored products.

After a 30-day public comment period for tribal members to submit feedback and input on the proposed resolution, the resolution was approved and signed.


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