Teenage e-cig epidemic

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The co-owner and general manager of Vape-Tronix in Panama City Beach, Dan Haskins, is siding with the FDA when it comes to keeping e-cigarettes out the hands of minors.


"They're 100 percent necessary, there needs to be regulations in any real industry," said Haskins.

Haskins isn't the only local in the vaping industry who is looking forward to some regulations.

"It should be something that is, like, cracked down because kids don't need to be ingesting nicotine whenever they're not mature enough to do it," said the manager of Apex Vapors, Gaven Woodard.

Woodard says putting children's lives at risk isn't what they want their industry to turn into.

"It's a common sense factor but also when it comes to advocacy, basically trying to make sure that this industry stays thriving because at the end of the day we're here to save lives, man," said Haskins.

Owners and store managers we spoke with say they I.D. every person who walks through their door.

"We always I.D. We check I.D.s frequently, we got the little sign over there showing, like, the date of, you know, if you're this young you, like, can't come in here, we got signs up around the shop and stuff," said Woodard.

"That's the law. It's the law. We can get fined over $10,000 if we don't, so we do not take that lightly," said Haskins.

If the FDA doesn't see a decrease in sales to minors, they might make these flavorful e-cigs illegal.

"I mean that would definitely kick us down because we've got all these different flavors and stuff like that so if they take out our flavors it's really gonna take down a huge thing in the industry," said Woodard.

While some say this may not be the answer, both sides agree that something needs to be done.

The FDA says it remains committed to exploring e-cigarettes as a less-harmful alternative for adult smokers, but not for the use of minors.