Rutledge hosts Youth Vaping Summit in Bentonville

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge hosted the Youth Vaping Summit on Wednesday at Bentonville High School, welcoming more than 150 educators, physicians and parents. By partnering with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), participates received first-hand information on the health risks and long term dangers e-cigarettes and nicotine can have on children and teens.

“I often hear the misconception that vaping is safer than cigarettes for children and teens. That’s simply not true,” Rutledge said. “I am grateful we could hear the scientific facts directly from the medical leaders in our State who see the negative impact nicotine has on our impressionable children and their future.”

Participants heard from a panel of physicians who spoke on the dangers of vaping and who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. They specifically addressed the damage caused to children’s lungs and overall health concerns triggered by e-cigarettes.

E-liquids are underregulated and can be cut with other dangerous products that consumers are unaware of. Dr. Joe Thompson, the former Arkansas Surgeon General, spoke on the popular yet poisonous trend of using vape pods and e-cigarette devices to consume marijuana-based products.

Rutledge moderated a panel that included a lawmaker, consumer protection expert and school leaders who also discussed what can be done at the state level to help educate Arkansans on the risks of vaping, enforce the law and find solutions to better serve communities.

Earlier this week in Little Rock, Rutledge hosted the first Youth Vaping Summit in the state. She announced a new initiative calling on e-commerce retailers including eBay, to be aware that selling tobacco products and devices to Arkansans is against the law and can subject them to fines up to $10,000 per violation. There are additional penalties for products sold to children.

For more information on the dangers of vaping in children and to view Rutledge’s new public service announcement, please visit

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