By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – The Food and Drug Administration has labeled teen vaping as an epidemic.

Now, manufacturers who make the pens have 60 days to prove they can keep their products away from minors, according letters from the US Food and Drug Administration.

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(credit: CBS)

From teenagers CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger spoke with, it may be a big task.

“Do you kids you know teens under 18 who vape?” he asked a group.

“Yes, very young, as young as 6th grade,” one replied.

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(credit: CBS)

At one school in June, CBS4 was shown the objects taken away from students including several vape pens.

Different schools have different measures. One girl told us her high school is trying to detect students vaping from inside.

“They even put like smoke alarms made for vape smoke so they can tell if kids are vaping in school,” she said.

RELATED: Colorado Teens Often Unaware Of Vaping Dangers

Vape stores like E-Cig have signs posted warning they will not sell to minors. Identification is run through a machine.

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General Manager Ian Beevers says they are all in favor the government action.

“It’s 18 and older. Let’s keep it that way. That’s fine. Nicotine is addictive substance, so anything to crack down on minor substance abuse we are 100 percent behind it,” he said.

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The vape oils now come with a warning that looks a lot like those on cigarette packages.

But vape oils come in different flavors that can appeal to younger people. One package is called “crispy treat.”

Others include “coconut cream pie” and “banana.” Beevers notes sometimes the older teens will try to buy them for others.

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“A group of people come in, young boys or young girls, come in. We just tell them they all need to leave,” Beevers said.

The government has let vaping-related businesses know they are on notice.

The warnings have gone out to e-cigarette makers and sellers. Warning letters went to such stores as 7-Elevens, Walgreens, Circle K, and Shell gas stations.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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