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TN lawmakers to propose vaping legislation as illnesses rise

The state Department of Health reports 64 people are now sick with vaping-related illnesses

Two Tennessee lawmakers plan to propose legislation to force medical professionals to report vaping related illnesses to the state Department of Health. 

Currently, doctors can decide to report or not. As of Thursday, there were 64 reports of vaping related illnesses in the state. 

"Our bill is rather simple and a baby step you might say," Rep. Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville) said. 

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"It doesn't ban vaping," Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) said," It doesn't put any restrictions on the sale of the products from what they are already." 

The two doctors say this is a first step to figuring out what's causing the vaping illness that has led to two deaths so far in Tennessee. 

They also worry about the long-term effects. 

"Carcinogens make take 10 to 12 to 20 years to actually show physical results." Ramsey said.  

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The two lawmakers see vaping addiction as a key danger, especially for young people. 

"Tobacco companies have told me that their future is not in leaf tobacco it's in vaping," Ramsey said. 

As they wait for the data to come in and the doctors to analyze it...their message to patients and constituents is a simple one. 

"My recommendation would be if you vape, stop. If you don't vape, don't start," Briggs said.  

He plans to propose the bill before the year is over for January's legislative session.