Some Want Electronic Cigarettes Illegal for Minors
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - They are flashy, appealing and can also be addictive according to state lawmakers. That is part of the reason they plan to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of minors.
The state is making it illegal under a new law for retailers to sell, furnish and distribute electronic cigarettes to minors starting in July.
But the law comes a little as a surprise to a distributor because William Foos said his retailers already do that.
“To be appealing to the consumer, they have to make the alcohol bottle look a certain way, and it’s the same thing with everything whether it’s kids toys to liquor to cigarettes,” Foos said.
Foos owns Foos, a company that distributes electronic cigarettes to more than 300 retailers, most of them in Kansas. But effective July 1, his Kansas retailers will not be able to sell, furnish, or distribute to those under 18.
“It kind of threw me off a little just because of the attempts we try to keep them out of kids hands without the law. But otherwise, I think it’s a good law,” Foos said.
Leawood Representative Pat Colloton agrees. The committee she chairs on corrections and juvenile justice, sponsored it after it was brought up by Leavenworth county prosecutor, Todd Thompson.
Colloton says it was a concern for youth because of the attractive packaging. They felt they needed to stop it before it became a bigger problem where teens might become addicted to the nicotine in electronic cigarettes.
“Nicotine is a powerfully addictive substance and this law will require posting of notice about sale to minors and help alert parents to the danger posed by these devices,” Colloton said in a statement.
Under the new law, retailers can’t sell electronic cigarettes though a vending machine if the store is open to minors. Those who do sell these cigarettes but not regular ones, will now have to get licensed.
Colloton also adds she understands these electronic cigarettes are helpful to adults who are trying to quit, so that’s why they decided to make it illegal for those under 18 who hopefully haven’t started.