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State lawmaker calls for more transparency in vaping liquid ingredients

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A state lawmaker wants more transparency when it comes to the ingredients contained in e-cigarettes.

Vaping is pretty new to 24-year-old Indianapolis resident Justin Baxter. He just switched to it from chewing tobacco about three months ago.

“I felt like it was healthier,” Baxter said. “I just wanted to try something different.”

Baxter added that he knows what he’s inhaling.

“I actually read the ingredients on the back,” Baxter said. “The store makes it themselves, so they went over everything with me when I bought it.”

Republican State Rep. Ron Bacon of Chandler is respiratory therapist by trade. He’s trying to develop legislation that calls for more transparency of the ingredients inside vaping and e-cigarette liquids.

“If it’s an oil base, we need to find out what it is they’re putting in. If they say, ‘we’re putting in strawberries,’ Well, how are you putting strawberries in there?” Bacon asked. “Strawberries are a natural substance that goes into the stomach easily without any problems. But you don’t put strawberry oil into your lungs, or juice or whatever.”

Last week, police arrested a 20-year-old Wisconsin man accused of running an illegal vaping business, loading the cartridges with illegal cannabis-derived THC oil and selling the products for about $22 each.

“I definitely believe it is important to know what’s in the actual vape. There’s a lot of dangerous stuff,” 23-year-old Daniel Sorrolls of Indianapolis said. He also uses a vape. “There’s people making it at home and selling it in bottles. I definitely don’t think you should go to a friend’s house and pick up vape juice.”

Tuesday, officials in California announced the country’s 7th vaping-related illness death. That number includes one death in Indiana.

“We need to find out why.” Bacon said. “If we need to have new legislation to work on the industry, then that’s what we need to do. That’s what I’m going to be looking into.”

Baxter likes the idea.

“I think it’s very important for people to understand what’s in this when they’re vaping. Not having knowledge of what you’re doing to your body is scary sometimes,” Baxter said.

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