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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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April 15, 2015     Hays Free Press
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April 15, 2015
 

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Hays Free Press April 15, 2015 EDUCATION Page 4B +_ COURTESYPHOTO earns Lobo Wind Ensemble earned a UIL Sweepstakes trophy following their recent performance at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center. Led by Lehman High School band director Joey Lu- cita, the Lobos did Vasilij Agapkin's/ed. Bourgeois' "A Slavic Farewell," Jim Colonna's "Dancing Day," and Jay Gilbert's "Suite Divertimento." ,-C1 austincc.edu/getstarted + BY RYAN MCCRIMMON - Special to the Hays Free Press A week after the Texas Senate passed a bill to prevent minors from buy- ing electronic cigarettes, House lawmakers con- sidered similar legislation they say would protect young Texans from ad- dictive nicotine products. Hays and Lehman high school students testified at the hearing. Th9 House Public Health Committee took up five bills in late March that would extend current restrictions on tobacco products to vapor prod- ucts like e-cigarettes. Texas retailers are banned from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products to cus- tomers younger than 18, but sales of e-cigarettes to minors are allowed. Texas is one of nine states that allow mi- nors to buy e-cigarettes, which are considered less toxic than conventional cigarettes but contain the addictive substance nicotine. State Rep. Nicole Col- lier, D-FortWorth, author of a bills that would ban e-cigarette sales to minors, said her 14-year- old daughter could walk down the street from her school, enter a shop and legally purchase an elec- tronic cigarette. a parent, I'm not comfortable with this situation," Collier said. Right now, she said, it's left to individual business owners to choose not to sell vapor products to minors." Bills filed by Collier and fellow Reps. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs; Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City; Oscar Longoria, D-Mission; and Chris Pad- die, R-Marshall, would all restrict the sale of e-ciga- rettes to people younger than 18 years old. The bills differ mainlyby referring to the products they seek to ban as either "vapor products," "nicotine prod- ucts" or "e-cigarettes." The committee did not vote on any of the bills Tuesday. Electronic cigarettes have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005 and now represent a $3 bil- lion industry worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. They are often marketed as a method for smokers to quit tobacco cigarettes. But there's concern that e-cigarettes can also act as a gateway to more harm- ful tobacco products. Last week on the Sen- ate floor, state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D- McAUen, called e-ciga- rettes "training devices" that young people use before moving on to prod- ucts like tobacco ciga- rettes. The Senate passed Hinojosa's Senate Bill 97 to make it illegal to sell e- cigarettes to minors. The World Health Orga- nization has also warned that with fruit and candy- like flavors, e-cigarettes can seem even more attractive to youths. On Tuesday, several high school students from Central Texas testified in favor of restricting e- cigarette sales. "Texas has the opportu- nity with this bill to create environments that are safer, cleaner and health- ier for children now and in the future," said James Collins, a Hays High School senior and vice chairman of the Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council. The group started advo- cating against electronic cigarette use by minors after several students no- riced classmates "vaping" on campus. "The e-cigarette is the device, and the vapor is the component that can actually cause harm to health," Collins said. "In addition to nicotine being in the vapor, minors can also use the device as a wayto deliver hash oil and even methamphet- amine. The exploitation of the device, specifically vaporization, goes a lot deeper." Andy Garza, a junior at Lehman High School in Kyle, told the story of a friend who felt addicted to e-cigarettes. "She didn't know that it was addictive, because many people are mis- informed," Garza said. "They think it's healthy. They think there's nothing wrong with it. They think it's fun." Thinking about Go 1-on-1 with ACC for help CONTACT US BROADWAY BANK We're here for good:" Buda Banking Center [ 321 N. FM 1626 [ 512.295.8000 [ 800.531.7650 Kyle Banking Center [ 5809 Kyle Pkwy. [ 512,268,2021 [ 800.531.7650 40 Neighborhood Locations broadwaybank.com MembetFDIC [ ~ ~r~ college, getting started! + ;I i i: Iil/iil ilitiilllil Ji I[i Ii1 I I iil I li Ii i I i I ii iiii' : :ill, IJ, I:,t| t i/l|lliI|N]l, ,H |ili I lllli|l, ',