Electronic cigarette debate lights up with regulation proposals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Electronic cigarette debate lights up with regulation proposals on table

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Harold Barnes has been selling electronic cigarettes at the ElectraCigz kiosk at Lindale Mall kiosk for almost three years.

"It's a good way to get people off of tobacco and the carcinogens and the tar that are related to tobacco and get them onto less harmful things," said Barnes.

These relatively new products don't have tobacco, just nicotine, so there's currently no state laws which Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller wants to see changed.

"If anything we want to keep Iowa on the mainstream of moving forward on this issue," said Miller.

Miller wants to see e-cigs included in the Iowa Smokefree Air Act, which would ban them in public places, like four other states have already done. Miller also wants to see taxes on e-cigs. Most importantly, he wants the state to implement an age requirement so kids can't buy them.

"The most important thing that the state legislature needs to do is prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors," said Miller.

That proposal has a chance of being passed by the legislature next session.

"We don't want them marketing them towards kids, some of the other issues are a little more complicated," said Rob Hogg, State Senator. 

What's also complicated is miller's idea that flavored vapors for e-cigs should also be outlawed because that's marketing towards kids.

"There should not be any marketing to kids," said Miller "There should not be any flavored e-cigarettes because flavoring is an ease, a means of use, to get people to use it. It's easier to start with flavored cigarettes."

Barnes says flavored vapors are very popular.

"People enjoy it because it helps them to not continue to use tobacco," said Barnes.

Barnes says he already refuses to sell to minors and thinks anymore regulations would be going too far.

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