E-Cig Bans To Teenagers

By: Tiffany Huertas Email
By: Tiffany Huertas Email

PANAMA CITY BEACH-- The Federal Government is moving to keep e-cigarettes and other smoking related products out of the hands of teenagers.

The Food and Drug Administration is about to ban the sale of e-cigs, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookahs and dissolvable tobacco products to anyone under 18.

Some local shops are worried about the effects on their businesses.

The Food and Drug Administration proposal would prohibit the sale of the popular e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.

It would also require the products to carry clear health warning labels and would ban it's sales in vending machines.

The new restrictions are at least a year away, but some e-cig businesses are worried about the effects.

"I think the little ones are going to be greatly affected because they are not necessarily following what we all have been following who have been in the industry long enough," Lori Switala, owner of Smokin' Vapor, said.

Smokin' Vapor is one of the older e-cig businesses in Bay County.

Switala says they're voluntarily abiding by some of the proposed bans.

"Parents lately have been trying to buy it for their children, which if we know this is happening, we will refuse the sale, we have the right to."

Local educators are supporting the proposed ban.

"Students can't buy cigarettes now, they shouldn't be able to buy e-cigarettes. "

But they admit some students are already suing e-cig products.

"I think it's going to be the same as what we deal with regular cigarettes. Minors somehow get a hold of regular cigarettes, some way," Principal Sandy Harrison of Mosley High School said. "They're going to manage to get a hold of e-cigarettes."

Harrison also says she expects e-cigs will be added to the curriculum.

"We will continue our education efforts in our health classes in life management, health and p-e classes. Teachers as a rule. When it comes up, when its a teachable moment."

The FDA's last tobacco regulation was in June 2011, when it issued new graphic warning labels on cigarette packs and advertising.


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