- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A proposal to ban electronic cigarettes for minors has cleared an early hurdle in the Legislature.

The Senate Public Affairs unanimously approved a proposal Thursday to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18.

The proposed restrictions are similar to prohibitions on minors buying cigarettes made of tobacco.

Battery-powered e-cigarettes heat a liquid solution often containing nicotine to create vapor that users inhale.

More than 20 states ban e-cigarette sales to minors.

Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration backs the legislation.

Supporters say the ban is needed because children may view e-cigarettes as safer than tobacco cigarettes although the nicotine used in the devices is addictive and the risks of inhaling nicotine remains unclear.

The bill goes to another Senate committee. A similar proposal is pending in the House.

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