CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State Rep. Wendell Gilliard said he will introduce a bill to ban the sale of vaping products in January when the state legislature reconvenes.
The bill would make it illegal “to sell, offer to sell, furnish, give, distribute, transport for delivery, or provide, or to possess with the intent to sell, furnish, give, distribute, transport for delivery, or provide a vapor product” in South Carolina.
The bill would also target people who sell vapor products through the internet or other remote sales methods if the vapor product is shipped to a mailing address in the state.
Anyone who knowingly violates the bill would be guilty of a misdeameanor, according to a draft of the Gilliard’s bill.
For the first offense, a fine of $200 to $300 would be imposed. For subsequent offenses, violators would face fines of between $300 and $400, up to 30 days in jail, or both.
Gilliard announced his bill as vaping-related illnesses across the country continue to rise. The Centers for Disease Control reported last week there have been approximately 1,300 cases and at least 26 deaths.
The outbreak appears to have started in March. Symptoms include severe shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but about 1 in 8 said they vaped only nicotine.
MUSC said in September said lung injuries associated with vaping were showing up in the Charleston area. MUSC Pediatric Critical Care Specialist Elizabeth Mack recommended people already using e-cigarettes to ask their doctor about how to wean themselves off.
Gilliard, a Democrat, represents the 111th state congressional district in Charleston County.