UPDATE 3/5/2014 4:45 PM
Tobacco or not, you have to be 18 to buy it.
And stores are already complying with a bill signed into law in Ohio.
The Vape-EZ store in Belpre specializes in electronic or "smokeless" cigarettes - cigarettes having nicotine but none of the other ingredients of traditional cigarettes.
A new Ohio law bans selling them to minors - those under 18.
But the Belpre store has had that restriction all along.
"Nowadays, the kids are looking like they're 18, but they're 15 or 16 years old," says store owner Tonya Hicks. "So we're really cautious; any time someone comes in looking like they're under 18, we ask for their ID. If they can't produce an ID, we tell them, ' Sorry you have to come in with an ID'."
Hicks, a former smoker, admits nicotine is addictive, but adds so are the other ingredients of tobacco products which e-cigarettes don't have.
UPDATE 3/4/2014 5:35 PM
Keeping electronic cigarettes away from kids.
Ohio's governor made that a state law Tuesday.
Governor John Kasich signed a bill making it illegal to sell e-cigs to anyone under 18.
The battery-powered devices typically contain nicotine and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate.
Users get their nicotine without the thousands of chemicals, tar or smell of regular cigarettes.
Ohio lawmakers want to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors.
Tuesday the Ohio Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved a measure to ban the sale of e-cigs to anyone under 18.
The battery powered alternative to regular cigarettes typically contains nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint, or chocolate.
Local health officials say those fruity flavors are a direct advertising technique, targeting young people.
"The e-cigarette companies are specifically marketing to the minors based upon the types of products that they're selling. Sour apple, blueberry, cherry, the different types of flavored nicotines that the youth can use," says Stephanie Davis, director of the Tobacco Prevention Program in Washington County. "You don't typically find someone that's a 35-year-old smoker that wants to use the sour apple cigarette."
And while they've been described as a less dangerous choice there are only a few studies exploring what chemicals are in e-cigarettes and whether they're harmful.
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