US senators ask federal government to address youth vaping

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he's leading a group of a dozen senators in urging the federal government to do more to prevent young people from vaping.

The Connecticut Democrat says the senators asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Friday to "take long overdue steps" to advance policies to prevent more adolescents from becoming addicted to electronic cigarettes and help youth quit vaping.

The signatories, all Democrats, include Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy.

The CDC said Thursday that 18 deaths linked to vaping have been confirmed in 15 states, and 80% of patients in lung injury cases associated with vaping products are younger than 35 years old.

The senators say there's a growing "e-cigarette epidemic."