A bill that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under age eighteen unanimously passed its third Senate committee on Thursday. The bill aims to clarify in law who can and can't purchase the tobacco alternatives. It would add any nicotine-dispensing device to the state’s ban on the sale of tobacco products to minors.
Currently, electronic cigarettes are seen by some as more acceptable than smoking, with the process involving a vaporizer to inhale nicotine that is often enhanced with flavors. Critics say those flavors - like banana and bubble gum - are likely to appeal to young people.
Regulators have agonized over whether the products are a step in helping people quit smoking or serve as a gateway to nicotine addiction. But although the measure is quickly moving through the Senate, the Florida House has yet to hear a similar bill in any committee.