PHOENIX (FOX 10) - New research from the Food and Drug Administration shows the number of high schoolers using vaping products has doubled in the past year, and that's why some Arizona senators are aiming to raise the legal age of purchasing vaping products to 21.
"Unfortunately, students are vaping in schools. We need to do much more to crack down on this problem," Arizona Sen.-elect Heather Carter said. "Teens do not see vaping products in the same way that they view cigarettes and unfortunately what we need to do is our teenagers are using these vaping products, thinking that they are safer in many ways, but they are not."
However, as more vape shops pop up around the Valley, supporters say they don't seen an issue with the legal purchasing age as it is now.
"We as an industry also care about youth's use, but we try to be involved in the conversation with legislation to correct that problem that doesn't put small businesses out of business," said Steve Johnson of the Arizona Smoke Free Business Alliance.
Republican Sen.-elect Carter stood alongside Sen. Kate McGee and Valley school leaders at the capitol today, introducing a bill that, if passed, would increase the age to purchase e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
"The definition we put in statue in 2013 is now already out of date, so we need to update that to give our law enforcement, our school officials the tools they need to help address this crisis in our schools," Sen.-elect Carter said.
Even though there are opposing views on the proposed bill, both sides aim to keep the health of our youth a top priority.
"Our companies are very responsible and work to keep minors out, so if they raise that age, that would definitely harm them," Johnson said. "Not only would that affect businesses, but it would also leave 18, 19 and 20-year-old addictive cigarette smokers without a less harmful alternative to turn to."