A bill that would ban minors in Montana from buying e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid containers is heading for the governor's office after the House cleared a Senate Bill by 72 votes to 28.
It's the latest bandwagon attempt by politicians to clamp down on e-cigarettes and was introduced by Democratic Sen. Diane Sands of Missoula on behalf of the Montana Attorney General. Of course it makes one major mistake right from the start because the Bill ensures that e-cigarettes are defined as tobacco products meaning those under 18 cannot legally access them. That totally goes against the decision of a court that ruled e-cigarettes are not tobacco products.
Still the politicians go along their merry way in imposing regulations on e-cigarettes and deciding a product that doesn't contain tobacco is a tobacco product. Any business that now wants to sell e-cigarettes and e-liquids will have to purchase a $5 license. That's a few more dollars in the coffers and how long till they start talking about heavily taxing e-cigarettes too? Rep. Denise Hayman has called the bill a well-thought out approach to a growing problem which shows how much she knows about the subject. Hayman spoke in the debate on Monday and said: "numerous parents and coaches are terrified of this product because there's very little information about it." She described this Bill as a "first step" so get ready for more restrictions coming this way.
Well actually there's quite a lot written about how e-cigarettes are safer than the deadly tobacco cigarettes. The problem is critics tend to keep a bit quiet about such studies such as the one we reported on from Germany in Monday's blog. At least there was some common sense spoken in the debate. Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer of Superior mentioned how e-cigarettes "helps kids get off cigarettes" and felt that the Bill was simply "regulating a really good product."
So does voting for the ban mean they want to stop a product that "helps kids get off cigarettes"? Of course the fact is that vaping stores won't even serve under-18s so they'll struggle to get them anyway. With the Governor in favor of such action this "first step" is bound to become law. Again it's a case of unwanted and unnecessary legislation but the politicians just don't see it that way do they?