Public Health New Mexico
8:42 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Lawmakers Advance Ban On E-Cigarette Sales To Minors

  UPDATE Feb. 19, 2014, 10:10 a.m.: This measure was approved by the House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

  State lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday evening that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.  

The federal government allows the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and says health risks haven’t been studied thoroughly. But a bill introduced this session would ban sales of most types of the vaporizers to people under the age of 18.  It would also fine buyers and sellers  $1,ooo each.

Sandra Adondakis is with the American Cancer Society.  She says this version of the bill might not ban every type of e-cigarette because the definition of the devices is too vague.

“It would be better for us to wait for FDA to tell us ‘no sales to minors,’" Adondakis said.  She added her group would also support a clearer legislative bill that has good definitions covering all the products that are currently on the market and that define e-cigarettes as within the definition of tobacco products.

The measure would also ban the use of e-cigarettes at schools just like other laws against young people’s use of tobacco products. It wouldn’t prohibit underage users from partaking off-campus. 

The Senate Public Affairs Committee unanimously approved the bill,  and it now moves on to the Senate Judiciary Committee.