RUSTON, La. (Louisiana Senate Press Release) -- At the urging of District 29 State Senator Rick Gallot (D-Ruston), members of the Louisiana Legislature will consider a measure to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors during the 2014 Regular Session, which begins March 10th.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vaporizers, do not burn tobacco or produce combustible “smoke” like traditional cigarettes; however they do contain habit-forming nicotine.
The health effects of inhaling the nicotine-laced vapor produced by e-cigarettes are just beginning to be studied and the results are already demonstrating e-cigarettes as dangerous for children. According to the latest annual report from the National Poison Data System, there were 427 e-cigarette poisoning reports in 2012. Additionally, the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that recent e-cigarette use nearly doubled in one year among U.S. high school students, rising from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 2.8 percent in 2012. And though some cigarette smokers have taken to these electronic cigarettes as a way to wean them off nicotine and quit smoking, the FDA has yet to approve them for smoking cessation.
“The advent of e-cigarettes, which are unregulated and growing in popularity, has caused confusion among businesses and consumers,” said Senator Gallot. “It is our responsibility as a legislature to clear the confusion and keep these habit-forming products out of the hands of Louisiana’s youth.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 27 other states have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Senator Gallot filed the bill at the request of 8th Judicial District Attorney Chris Nevils of Winn Parish who noticed the national trend of updating tobacco laws to catch up with the changing technology.
“For both myself and my children, I am glad Louisiana is staying out front in the fight to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors,” said Nevils.
The measure, Senate Bill 12, adds ‘alternative nicotine products’ to the list of products that are prohibited from being sold to people under age eighteen. The measure can be found at www.legis.la.gov