Senator calls for moratorium on sale of vaping products

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Sen. Bob Menendez is calling for a moratorium on the sale of electronic cigarette and vaping products.

The call comes after several deaths and hundreds of illnesses that seem to be linked to use of the products. Menendez made his announcement Monday at Ridgewood High School.

"Until we understand the nature of all of these vaping products, it seems to me that a moratorium gives a guarantee that no one dies as a result of vaping,” Menendez said.

The Democratic senator says that a moratorium would allow the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention time to study what is causing people to become sick. The CDC says that six deaths and 380 cases of lung disease nationwide are linked to vaping products.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy creates task force to probe vaping health concerns 
RELATED: New Jersey teenager suing makers of Juul electronic cigarettes 

But officials say that there is much concern for teenage use of the products. Officials say that data shows that vaping is up 78% among teens.

The Federal Trade Commission is now investigating electronic cigarette company Juul to see if their marketing targets kids.

"Mango, root beer float, strawberry cheesecake, and even sour double rainbow, these are all real vape flavors you can buy online and in stores,” says Ridgewood High School Joe Tyson. “With flavors like these, you can't argue that vapes are not marketed toward teens."

Along with the moratorium, Menendez also wants to tax vape products, end marketing to kids, close online sales to children and funnel $500 million from the tax to the CDC to study health effects.

In response, Juul representatives have said the company targets adults, not kids. But Menendez says that he doesn’t buy it.

"I don't expect the very same industry that is behind the vaping industry to all of a sudden become truth tellers. So, I will trust the FDA to do the right thing,” he said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes this past weekend. Similar bans have been called for in Massachusetts, California and Michigan. President Donald Trump has also stated he is in favor of banning flavored vape products.

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