Dr. Ruiz Tells Story of Local Teen Critically Injured by Vaping
Washington D.C. – Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) spoke today on the nationwide youth vaping epidemic. Recently, in Desert Hot Springs Zane Martin, a local 15-year-old, was hospitalized for over a month with a life-threatening illness from vaping. Congressman Ruiz visited Zane in the hospital last week and is working to combat the youth epidemic of vaping through legislation that would require harsher penalties to stores that sell tobacco to underage kids, require clear labeling of vape devices, and prohibit devices obviously geared toward kids, like e-cigarettes designed to look like candy.
“The dangers from vaping are real and can be devastating, especially when companies gear their flavors and devices to teens and make them easily available to our youth across the country,” said Dr. Ruiz. “Visiting with Zane, hearing his and his mother’s concerns, and speaking with his doctors made it clear we must work urgently to enact policies that educate the public on the dangers of vaping and protect underage teens from vaping and e-cigarette devices.”
Dr. Ruiz spoke Wednesday to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and told Zane’s story as they held a markup of four bills, including H.R. 2339 the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, which would increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, prohibit flavors in all tobacco products, and prohibit online sales of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Read more about the story of Zane Martin in KESQ here.
Dr. Ruiz and Zane Martin at Loma Linda Hospital. Photo released with the permission of Zane and his mother.