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Bill Aims to Restrict The Age Limit to Purchase E-Cigarettes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Minors in Missouri may soon be banned from purchasing electronic cigarettes. The Missouri House passed a bill to put an age limit restriction on the sale of e-cigarettes.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- In flavors like cake and popcorn, e-cigarettes can be appealing to adults, and minors, alike.

House Bill 1690 is sponsored by Representative Caleb Rowan. He said the legislation aims to enforce an age-limit on those who can buy e-cigarettes and vapor products to only those 18 or older.

A statement, Rep. Rowan said, "There is still a lot to be learned about exactly how this industry will grow and evolve, but in the meantime, I think it makes sense for us to go ahead and take care of the youth access piece."

E-cigarettes are products designed to deliver nicotine or other substances to a user in the form of a vapor.

But Joseph McCormick said he believe they shouldn't be available to everybody.

"You have to be 18 to buy a pack of cigarettes-- it should be the same for this product," said McCormick.

Many vapor business already enforce age restrictions on their customers, like Vapor World in Springfield.

"If they look anywhere under the age of 25 or 30 we do ask for their ID, and if they don't have it, they're not allowed to touch anything in the store," said Zachary Lewis, Manager of Vapor World, Springfield.

Lewis said nicotine is not a bad thing, but the bill will help to regulate the industry.

"Nicotine has a bad reputation because it's been in cigarettes and tobacco and a lot of other stuff that has given people cancer and killed people. But nicotine itself is not a bad chemical or substance to put in your body," he said. "But at same time, I do believe no one under the age 18 should have the opportunity to walk into a store and buy a product with nicotine in it."

Parents Amy and David Brotherton said they believe the age restriction will protect future generations.

"I think its a good thing. I have children and i would not want them doing this," said Amy Brotherton. "Plus I hear that's its a gateway for other things."

A provision in the bill also prevents the products from being taxed or regulated as tobacco products-- opponents say this addition will not help to stop young people from accessing e-cigarettes.

The House version of the bill is headed to the Senate and the Senate version is headed to the House.

Rep. Rowen said he is optimistic one of the two will pass and get to the governor's desk this year.

Currently 28 states restrict the age of purchase for e-cigarettes.




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