Senate commitee passes bill that could ban electronic cigarettes to minors

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 4:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 5:06pm

A bill that will ban electronic cigarettes from minors passed through the Senate committee Tuesday morning. The response from the committee was overwhelming and so is the community's reaction.

Banning electronic cigarettes from minors is something locals tell NBC33 shouldn't even be debated; it’s a no-brainer.

There is always something new out there those kids are experimenting with, but now one product that's legal and on the market in Louisiana is stirring up major conversation at the state capitol.

"This is an increasing problem with our children who have been able to get a hold of these products," said Louisiana State Senator, Rick Gallot, D– Ruston.

Some people might ask why there is so much concern. If there is no tobacco there shouldn’t be a problem. Well the problem is real, and its here in Louisiana.

“They do have nicotine and its the same amount that are in cigarettes which is why we see this is an issue,” said Tonya Moore from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living.

State Sen. Rick Gallot, D- Ruston, has proposed a bill to ban electronic cigarettes for anyone under 18.

"Were trying to make sure the law catches up with the technology out there,” noted Sen. Gallot.

And smoker or not, the community seems to agree.

"They should be banned from kids,” said a non- smoker. “They should be 18 and older same as tobacco products I mean that's what it’s replacing correct? It’s replacing cigarettes so the same rules apply."

‘Nicotine is for grownups. If you're not old enough to buy the real cigarettes you cant buy the fake ones," said Jason Knight.

So now along with 27 other states, Louisiana is one step closer to banning these “alternative nicotine products” to our youth.

There are sections of the bill that allow youth to use the e cigarettes if administered by a doctor or for medicinal purposes.

The bill will now head to the full Senate for debate and consideration. We will keep you updated if its passes.

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