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Story Update: Boise, Idaho Introduces New Legislation for E-Cigarettes

Filed in News & Politics by on February 2, 2012

Back in October 2011, we reported that the city of Boise, Idaho was placing new restriction on its existing smoking ban. The city was proposing to broaden the ban to include workplaces, tobacco shops and business with separate smoking sections such as bowling alley.

E-Cigarettes, however, had been specifically excluded from the ban and the definition of what smoking is amended so there would be no question as to whether e-cigarettes were permitted or not: “Smoking means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation in any manner or in any form.  Smoking does not include the use of an e-cigarette which creates only a vapor without any smoke.”

In recent news, city officials from Boise, Idaho, have decided to introduce a new legislation aimed at regulating the sale of the devices to minors. Current Idaho law bans tobacco products from being sold to children; however, the current laws do not cover-e-cigarettes. The legislation prohibiting the sale of e-cigs to children and minors was endorsed unanimously on Monday, January 30th, 2012 by the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee, which sent it to the full House with a recommendation that it passes.

“Minors should not have access to nicotine,” said Lora Whalen, director of the Panhandle Health District, calling the bill “just common sense.” She said, “Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break.” Toxic levels of nicotine are much lower for children than for adults, Whalen noted.

Electronic cigarette manufacturers stand behind banning the sale of the product to minors. Companies like V2 Cigs place warnings on all packaging and require authentication on their website. “We stand behind any legislation banning sales to minors, but when it comes to lumping e-cigarettes unfairly with tobacco cigarettes we are fighting for the rights of our customers,” says Jay Meistrell, CFO of V2 Cigs.

Before the Boise legislation may become a law, it must be approved by the full House ad receive the governor’s signature. No voting has been scheduled but it is expected to be put on the calendar in the upcoming months.

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