By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – With no discussion, the Senate approved a bill Thursday on a 36-2 vote that would prohibit anyone from under the age of 18 to buy or possess electronic cigarettes. .
The sponsor of Senate Bill 109, Republican Sen. Paul Hornback of Shelbyville, said the measure would put e-cigarettes under the same restrictions as tobacco products.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices resembling traditional cigarettes. They heat a liquid solution, creating vapor that users inhale to get nicotine without the smoke of regular cigarettes.
They are billed as a safer way to get a nicotine fix, but some doctors and researchers dispute that claim. The nicotine has been blamed for poisonings.
Hornback, a tobacco farmer, said e-cigarettes should be limited to adults.
His bill does not deal with taxing e-cigarettes. Gov. Steve Beshear has called for legislation to deny access to e-cigarettes to young people and has proposed a tax on them.
SB 109 would impose a penalty fee of $50 for minors possessing e-cigarettes. It carries penalties of up to $2,500 for stores that sell the e-cigarettes to minors.
Twenty-six states now prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
The bill now goes to the House for its consideration. The House is considering a similar bill and the Federal Drug Administration is considering whether to regulate all e-cigarettes. The FDA now regulates only e-cigarettes used for therapeutical purposes.
The Senate also unanimously approved and sent to the House SB 125, which would allow honorably discharged service members to waive the training requirement for a concealed deadly weapon license.
Filed Under: KY General Assembly