Nations attorneys general set their sights on teen vaping

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - North Carolina hopes to guide the nation in snuffing out teen e-cigarette use.

Attorney General Josh Stein briefed his peers from across the country Wednesday on the steps he thinks they should all take to fight teen vaping. (Source: Gray DC)

Clouds of uncertainty hang over e-cigarettes, as nicotine hooks yet another generation on a product that's already proven deadly. And yet, for long-time cigarette smokers, it may be a healthier alternative and an aid to kick tobacco use altogether.

"This problem is a national problem, there's a youth epidemic occurring," said Attorney General Josh Stein, D-North Carolina.

Stein recently became the first AG to sue Juul Labs and seven other e-cigarette makers, accusing the companies of aggressively targeting children. Wednesday, he laid out his case against digital tobacco giants to a crowd of fellow top prosecutors from around the country.

"What we've got to do is stop all the efforts that [the companies] engaged in to create youth smokers and still allow adults to have that option," he said.

Stein's peers who listened in this morning-- both Democrats and Republicans- didn't commit to taking specific steps but said their states won't remain on the sidelines.

"I see Vermont taking action one way or another," said T.J. Donovan, D-Vt. Attorney General.

"I think that we'll wind up with a settlement, a negotiated settlement like we did with tobacco 30 years ago," said Wayne Stenehjem, R-N.D. Attorney General.

Stein will be coming home with new ideas of his own, strategies he picked up at attorneys general conference for dealing with issues surrounding everything from artificial intelligence to religious rights.

We reached out to Juul for comment on Stein's lawsuits. We had not heard back when this story was published.

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