Bill to make purchase of electronic cigarettes illegal for minors

Florida Senate Committee approves bill that would prohibit sales to minors

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida Senate Committee approved a bill Thursday that would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

The Senate Regulate Industries Committee unanimously supported the proposal by Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft.Myers).

The bill would add nicotine dispensing devices to the state's prohibition on the sale of tobacco products to people under 18.

Some people consider the electronic cigarettes safer than cigarettes, but that doesn't mean that there are not any health risks.

"They did some studies, the FDA, that the cartridges of non-nicotine cartridges, all but one did contain significant amounts of nicotine in them," said Dr. Harold Laski.

The bill also would make it illegal for minors to possess such electronic cigarettes and products.

"Smoking is not just one habit, it's the habit of taking a cigarette, holding it to your mouth and of course smoking," said Laski. "That's absolutely real and that's why it's so difficult to stop smoking."

The House version of the bill has three more stops before it is approved. The bill must go through the Business and Professional Regulation Subcommittee, the Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and the Regulatory Affairs Committee.

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