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Local allergist glad government stepping in to keep e-cigs from youth

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The marketing practices toward youth from e-cigarette companies has drawn criticism and demands from the top.

The Food and Drug Administration has given five companies 60 days to slow down the propensity of youth buying their products.

Gundersen Allergist Todd Mahr says time is of the essence.

“These products are becoming more and more addicting with every month that passes,” Mahr said. “They’ll say, ‘Well wait a minute, we’re not marketing to kids,’ yet they’re bubblegum flavored, they’re cookie flavored, they’re oreo flavored.”

Mahr says government is partly to blame in letting the problem grow.

“Anybody in their right mind would have said, ‘OK, they’re going to like this because it’s cool,'” he noted. “It kind of slid through in a lot of states where state laws didn’t take on these cigarettes. A lot of state laws have been passed with tobacco material.”

Mahr says another concerning aspect of e-cigarettes is that some are using the devices to smoke marijuana.

“They’re basically using marijuana and the juice in the cigarettes,” he said. “Among those who actually ever used these cigarettes — about a quarter of them — had used them to consume cannabis at some point in time.”

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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