- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Most Missouri teenagers no longer will be able to buy electronic cigarettes after state lawmakers voted Thursday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill banning their sale to anyone under 18.

Supporters of the ban argue there’s no time to wait to keep children from puffing on the battery-powered devices. The bill will go into effect in about a month.

At least 38 other states prohibit selling alternative tobacco products and electronic cigarettes to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Other areas are looking to push restrictions on the devices further.

Iowa City, Iowa, is considering banning the use of electronic cigarettes anywhere on city-owned property. A Harrisonburg, Virginia, school last week banned their use and possession on campus.



The Missouri proposal met resistance from Nixon because it also exempts electronic cigarettes from regulations and taxes that apply to tobacco products. The governor said he opposes making the potentially addictive devices free of state regulations.

Research on the safety of e-cigarettes is mixed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April proposed rules to treat e-cigarettes as tobacco products, with rules requiring warning labels and prohibiting sales to those younger than 18. But it could be years before federal regulations are in place.

State Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa, who sponsored the bill, said he added the exemption from state tobacco regulations and taxes because of pushback from the state convenience store association and concerns that a tax wouldn’t pass the Republican ranks. He said restricting young people’s access to e-cigarettes required quick action.

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Electronic cigarette bill is SB841.

Online:

Senate: https://www.senate.mo.gov

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