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As a pediatric provider in Bozeman, I support the temporary ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Research shows and my practice confirms that 58% of teens admit to using vaping devices and 30% do so on a regular basis. Unfortunately, we are also seeing use among 9 and 10 year olds.

Currently, use of vaping devices is more common than traditional cigarettes were at the height of their popularity. One of the most common myths is that vaping is safe. This certainly is not true. Nicotine has effects on the developing brain, is highly addictive and is toxic. The other compounds used in vaping devices are known carcinogens. Nicotine exposure in teenagers harms the part of the brain that controls attention, learning, mood and impulse control. Nicotine related illnesses already kills 1,600 Montanans each year.

Currently our inaction has created a new generation of nicotine addicted children who will go on to suffer from tobacco related diseases. The recent outbreak of severe lung disease in young adults in this country including in the state of Montana highlights how much we do not understand about the effects of vaping. These products are not safe.

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I ask all adults to stand together against tobacco companies and their lies regarding vaping devices and permanently ban flavored vaping devices to reduce its appeal to children. The children of the state of Montana depend on us to make the right decision.

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Lynne Foss