Lack of E-Cigarette Regulation Worries Lawmakers - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Lack of E-Cigarette Regulation Worries Lawmakers

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By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell

 

Electronic cigarettes have become a billion dollar industry practically overnight, but state and local officials say it lacks some serious regulations.

Currently, e-cigarettes are legal to sell to minors, even though they contain the highly addictive drug, Nicotine.

Friday morning, Story County officials met in Ames with State Senator Herman Quirmbach to push for a change in law.

Story County wants to become the first to enact a local ordinance, banning the sales of e-cigarettes to minors.

"Make no doubt about it, the purpose of this product is to get people hooked on Nicotine. That's the hardest addiction, public health people are clear, this is one of the hardest addictions to break," said Senator Herman Quirmbach.

Officials said they're pushing for the ordinance to keep the youth in the county healthy and to avoid addiction later in life. The ordinance is in front of the  Story County Board of Supervisors and has been passed once. The reading will need to pass two more times before it goes into effect.

"The fact is, there is agreement that something should be done. They are tobacco like products and should be regulated in a similar manner," said Rick Sanders, a Story County Supervisor.

Even stores in the area, like Vapor On, have signs on their doors saying, "Must Be 18 Or Older To Purchase."

Store owner Helen Branch said even though she has a store and depends on the income, she is in favor of the regulation.

"We ID, definitely, because you never can tell. I think it's good, it's good to regulate for minors," said Branch.

The worry about addiction and minors spans beyond Story County.

At the statewide level, legislators are also asking the Food and Drug Administration to ban sales to minors.

"There is a much more accelerated movement in this matter, all forces seem to be coming together more quickly," said Stephen Holmes, Story County Attorney.

 

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