November 1, 2014

Legislature proposes regulation of electronic cigarettes

The Missouri legislature has proposed a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to people under 18.

Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) carried the e-cigarettes bill in the House.  (photo courtesy; TIm Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) carried the e-cigarettes bill in the House. (photo courtesy; TIm Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

The proposal is aimed at preventing young people from being exposed to nicotine. Some lawmakers opposed the proposal saying it doesn’t go far enough.

Representative Jill Schupp (D-St. Louis) wants legislation that will tax e-cigarettes like tobacco products.

“We know for a fact that the way [teens have] stopped smoking cigarettes happens when we increase the tax on cigarettes, we move the cigarettes behind the counter in stores where they are sold,” says Schupp.

Representative David Wood (R-Versailles) talks with the bill’s sponsor, Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) about why the bill doesn’t treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products.

“You’re trying to take care and protect our children under the age of 18 from a product that could be harmful to them,” says Wood, “but you’re in no¬†way trying to treat it as tobacco no more than we treat Nicorette gum or the patches as tobacco.”

The legislation has been sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced plans to ban the sales of e-cigarettes to minors and put warning labels on them.