Kansas legislators have decided that e-cigarettes should be just as off-limits to inhabitants younger than 18 as the real thing, so starting July 1 it will be unlawful for minors to purchase or possess the vapor-emitting smoking alternative in the state. The Legislature passed the prohibition last month, and Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed the new ordinance. The legislation defines electronic cigs as a battery-powered device that can supply inhaled doses of nicotine through a vaporized solution.
Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County prosecutor, argued the Lawrence Journal-World that school resource officers had expressed big interests about students who buy e-cigarettes, some of which were designed like pens or flash drives.
Thompson added that school districts could create their own laws banning electronic tobacco products on school areas, but it was not illegal for students to have or use them.
“They emit nicotine just like the way a regular cigarette would,” Thompson explained. “That’s a bad and addictive smoking product.”
The Federal Drug Administration has voiced concerns about electronic cigarettes, and Thompson said he worried that children who use them would become addicted to nicotine.
“We are about trying to remove things in the bud,” Thompson declared.
State Alcoholic Beverage Control director Doug Jorgensen reported that the legislation prohibits anyone from selling electronic cigarettes to anyone younger than 18, just like the law regulates the sale of regular cigs.
Under the policy, tobacco vendors who are licensed to sell regular cigs won’t have to make any changes to their current license. Vendors who don’t sell tobacco products — especially operators of mall kiosks or carts – will have to get also a state license.