The Idaho State Legislature voted last week to ban the sales of e-cigarettes to minors in a 68-0 vote.
The state already had a law in place banning the sales of tobacco cigarettes and tobacco products to minors, but the wording of the law did not specifically include nicotine delivery devices such as the e-cigarette, hence the need for the bill in the eyes of Idaho lawmakers.
One vocal opponent of the bill, himself a smoker, Dick Harwood, GOP representative from Ste. Marie’s flipped his negative vote at the last minute, at the same time voicing his disapproval of the government turning the country into a “nanny state” where all decisions are taken out of the hands of public and placed into those of lawmakers or other individuals espousing so called public protection of health and safety.
Concern over e-cigarettes included debates in the legislature that noted that e-cig cartomizers are available in flavors such as “root beer” and “bubble gum” which seem to indicate intent to market such devices to children.
While no one wants to see kids lighting up, the pressure, peer and otherwise on youth to smoke analog cigarettes still exists and banning one device that might have given the all the cachet of smoking in a reduced risk device seems wrongheaded. A law banning the sale of nicotine based cartomizers to the under 21 crowd might have been more appropriate.