TOPEKA, Ks. — A group of high school students say the number of young people smoking and vaping in Kansas is too high.
The group of young people say tobacco companies are targeting them and that lawmakers need to do something about it.
Olivia Summers, concerned student, said, “It’s everywhere, it’s in the bathrooms, people hide them in their shoes, vapes are everywhere and it’s a huge, huge problem, and we need to try to fix it.”
Olivia Summers is a high school student in Holton.
She says it’s important to share what it’s like inside schools.
‘I just want them to know what we see, because they don’t know what we see.”
Many of the high school students are members of Resist.
A statewide group that aims to reduce tobacco use rates in Kansas.
“I’m really just proud of how many people showed up today and are truly passionate about what is going on today, and I hope they get enough support from lawmakers that something gets done about it.”
Supporters say big tobacco is targeting young people with ads and fun flavors.
The students are pushing legislators to be stronger on banning vape flavors and to raise the age to buy and possess tobacco and nicotine products to 21.
“Don’t let big tobacco control the bill, because they have their fingerprints all over it.”
The House Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a tobacco bill last month that would let the federal Food and Drug Administration control what vape pod flavors are banned.
The current ban excludes menthol and tobacco flavors.
That bill has yet to be debated in the full house.