Iowa teenagers will likely face higher fines if they’re caught with cigarettes or trying to buy a pack, but they won’t lose their drivers license. The Iowa House has approved a bill which doubles the fines for minors who possess or try to buy cigarettes. And for the first time, the clerks who sell tobacco to minors would face a fine, too. Representative David Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, supported the bill. He says the state must send a message that violators will face swift, sure and certain punishment.House members stripped the provision in the Senate-passed bill which would have taken drivers licenses away from teens caught trying to buy cigs a third time. Kids caught smoking would be forced to perform community service, though. Representative Keith Kreiman, a democrat from Bloomfield, supported the bill. He says it may keep some kids from buying cigarettes.Representative Galen Davis, a republican from Ottumwa, doubts few police officers will arrest kids for the crime of smoking or buying smokes.Representative John Connors, a Des Moines democrat, says it’s time to make cigarettes and other tobacco products illegal. He says that’s the way they’ll people to quit smoking.Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says it’s likely the Senate will endorse the House changes to the bill and send it to Governor Vilsack for his approval.
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