Archive for Monday, June 4, 2012

New law bans e-cigarette use for kids under 18

June 4, 2012


A new Kansas law that takes effect July 1 will ban anyone under 18 from purchasing or possessing electronic cigarettes.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control had heard concerns from school resource officers about students who possessed the electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, some of which were designed like pens and flash drives instead of cigarettes. Thompson said school districts could create their own policies prohibiting possession of the items on school property but that it was not illegal for students to have or use e-cigarettes.

“They emit nicotine just like the way a cigarette would,” Thompson said. “That’s a harmful product and an addictive product.”

Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed the bill after the Kansas Senate and House passed it in May. Thompson said he worked on the bill with Reps. Pat Colloton, Melanie Meier and Tom Sloan. Sloan is a Lawrence Republican.

The law defines electronic cigarettes as a battery-powered device, whether it’s shaped like a cigarette or not, that can provide inhaled doses of nicotine by “delivering a vaporized solution” either by cartridges or other chemical delivery systems. The FDA has voiced concerns about the use, often called “vaping,” of e-cigarettes. Thompson worried that if children used e-cigarettes, which could be purchased at mall kiosks, they would become addicted to nicotine.

“Obviously we can see that there is a harm, and we had heard about it,” Thompson said. “We are about trying to nip things in the bud.”

Doug Jorgensen, the ABC’s director, said the law prohibits anyone from selling e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 18, exactly how the current law regulates the sale of cigarettes.

Under the new law, vendors licensed to sell regular cigarettes wouldn’t have to make any changes to their current license, nor would they have to reapply. He said vendors who don’t sell tobacco cigarettes, like carts or mall kiosks, will need to obtain a state license.

“Allowing kids under 18 that exposure to pure nicotine, which can be addictive, we just needed to take a look at controlling it,” Jorgensen said.

Trudy Cooley, an office manager for Safer Smoke Supply of Leavenworth, said the law won’t affect the company’s business because it already prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 18. She said that includes sales on the company’s website and through its vendors in Kansas and Missouri.

“It’s not because they are harmful,” Cooley said. “We just don’t need to promote this to kids. This is a safer way for people to smoke, and we don’t want kids just trying it for the heck of it.”


chootspa 6 years ago

Am I the only one surprised that this wasn't already the law?

Hooligan_016 6 years ago

Yeah, I kind of just assumed it was the law that nicotine use wasn't allowed for under-18 ...

Clickker 6 years ago

Just more government intrusion in our lives

Tanner Stumbaugh 6 years ago

Not at all.... being that nicotine is a controlled substance, I always assumed 18 was the "across the board" law for anything containing nicotine (sp)...

gr 6 years ago

“They emit nicotine just like the way a cigarette would,” Thompson said. “That’s a harmful product and an addictive product.”

So, if it is a harmful product, wouldn't it be harmful for those over 18? Why is the state making money off of that which is harmful? Why should anyone be allowed to legally buy or sell a harmful product, electronic or otherwise, which is addictive? And getting the government's stamp of approval.

I mean, next thing you know, they'll be allowing people over 18 to buy soft drinks!
Oh, wait. They can.

gr 6 years ago

Guess someone's not following the news. ;-)

Grammaton 6 years ago

Addiction is certainly a concern, and I support the measure. However, nicotine itself is comparable to caffeine (in my opinion, based on research) if used appropriately. Cigarettes contain ammonia which almost quadruples the addictiveness of the nicotine (this measurement varies slightly depending on the source of information). After having used e-cigarettes for more than a year (I was previously a pack-a-day smoker), I feel great, and the experience is quite enjoyable.

The partial quote, "Allowing kids under 18 that exposure to pure nicotine..." is not accurate. E-cigarette liquid is not pure nicotine. The primary ingredient (in the liquid I use) is vegetable glycerin, or Glycerol, which is pretty much the most benign substance known. The other ingredients, in order from highest to lowest content, are water, nicotine (which is completely optional) and flavoring. I couldn't tell you how many ingredients are in the flavoring itself, but it's certainly lower than the thousands of chemicals found in cigarettes.

My point being, a person is not getting pure nicotine from the device. The nicotine content is varied depending on the user's desired strength or is calculated to approximate the amount inhaled from a cigarette, typically 1-1.5 mg, if one is buying pre-made cartridges rather than buying liquid and filling their own.

In my year of using an e-cigarette, I have never experienced an overdose. I do, however, admit that I am a nicotine addict, and it's important to keep that in mind when it comes to who is allowed to purchase the product, but I also don't use my e-cigarette any more than I drink coffee.

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