Posted By: Camila Orti
Nebraska lawmakers held a meeting Friday to discuss electronic cigarettes, and if they should be banned for minors.
Electronic cigarettes have recently grown in popularity. That trend is being seen in young people, becoming a problem for Lincoln Public Schools and prompting lawmakers to consider restricting sales.
In a General Affairs Committee meeting at the Capitol, Sen. Russ Karpisek introduced the idea of regulating sales of e-cigarettes.
"Occasionally technology outpaces policy, and I think this is the case with electronic cigarettes," Karpisek said.
Right now, e–cigarette retailers are legally allowed to sell the product to minors as long as it doesn't contain nicotine. Many of the testifying shop owners say they don't do that anyway, and would support a ban to make it illegal for minors to buy.
"Electronic cigarettes, to me, have always been a tool to get to the people that have already become addicted to the cigarettes and give them a safer alternative, it's not there to hook the kids and get them started on an addiction that they never had in the first place," co-owner of GNS Vapor Aaron Guenter said.
Battery powered e–cigarettes use heat and a liquid solution to create vapor instead of smoke.
LPS released letters home on Thursday reminding parents that- nicotine or not- e–cigarettes are not allowed in school or on school grounds.
Although most retailers seem to deny sale to those under the age of 18, the CDC reports that the use of e–cigarettes among teens has doubled in the last year.
Nobody testified against the idea of a ban at Friday's meeting, but no formal legislation will be introduced until session begins in January.