Just like in most parts of the world, Idaho minors are not allowed to buy tobacco products, but until a few days ago, they were free to purchase electronic cigarettes.
Finally, the state of Idaho decided to close this legal loophole by banning the sales of e-cigarettes to minors. Although they have been available for almost six years, the issue was only recently brought into attention, after reports of mall kiosk operators going up to teenagers and trying to sell them nicotine products. One would ask why it took so long for politicians to tackle this problem, and the answer would be that they didn’t even know about it until recently.
Although the intention to protect young people and keep them away from addictive substances like nicotine is commendable, the motives invoked by supporters of the bill are questionable. They argue that a traditional tobacco cigarette can contain 1-2 mg of nicotine, while an e-cigarette can be loaded up with even 10 mg of the stuff, making it even more dangerous. While that sounds true to someone who has no idea what e-cigs are, you can’t ignore the fact that an electronic cigarette cartridge is the equivalent of at least a whole pack of analogs. And plus, someone would have to literally drink the contents of such a cartridge in order to induce a nicotine overdose.
In other news, a Utah state bill banning the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces is also one step closer to being passed, after it was unanimously approved by a senate committee. The bill’s sponsor says this measure buys more time for the study of second-hand e-cigarette vapor.
Some would say these bills are just protecting the interests of big tobacco companies…