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State bans e-cig sales to minors

State bans e-cig sales to minors

Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Senate has passed a bill that aims to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of those under age 18.

The measure which prohibits minors from obtaining, possessing and using the products was approved Wednesday on a 32-0 vote.

Groups such as the Ohio State Medical Association have questioned the legislation because it defines the items as “alternative nicotine products” rather than tobacco-derived products. The organization said the new category could exempt the products from taxation laws that govern tobacco.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate. Users get their nicotine without the thousands of chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes.

The Ohio House passed an earlier version of the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard).

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