The Iowa House has voted to ban the sale of “e-cigarettes” to minors. Representative Chip Baltimore, a Republican from Boone, calls them “alternative nicotine products.”
“These products, thanks to technological innovation, take the carcinogenic smoke out of the equation,” Baltimore said. “…Because nicotine may be addictive for some, then it’s appropriate to keep it out of the hands of children. That’s what this bill does.”
Critics suggest the bill is a backdoor bid to ensure e-cigarettes are not classified as a tobacco proeduct and therefore are not subject to state taxes or under the jurisdiction of the state’s Clean Air Act. Representative Tyler Olson, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, also suggested minors would be able to buy e-cigarettes that don’t contain nicotine, even if the bill becomes law.
“I want to make sure that all e-cigarettes, whether they have nicotine or don’t, are kept out of the hands of minors,” Olson said. “The non-nicotine e-cigarettes come in flavors…cherry, grape and others. Those are clearly intended to be marketed to minors.”
The bill — without any of the changes critics sought — passed on a 76 to 22 vote and goes to the senate for consideration.