The heat is on. The squeeze is beginning to hit e-cigarette makers in the country. They must be feeling what the regular tobacco makers have been experiencing. And, maybe not for the wrong reasons. The accidental death of the one year old child in New York was an eye opener.
Gov. Cuomo of the New York State has just signed a bill that will require nicotine liquid containers to be child resistant. In addition, minors are already prohibited from purchasing e-nicotine, which is another name for liquid nicotine.
The e-nicotine manufacturers, in their desire to attract more users, have made a lot of modifications to their products. They made the colors more attractive and the taste candy-like with several flavors to boot. They didn’t foresee what effects these might have on the children. They must have opened Pandora’s Box.
This time its Indiana’s turn. The state will now be requiring its stores dealing in e-cigarettes to acquire a license to sell them. Not only that, there’s a plan of taxing e-cigarettes just like regular tobacco.
Indiana would require stores to have a license to sell electronic cigarettes and would tax the battery-powered devices like traditional tobacco products under a bill a state lawmaker said Friday he’ll sponsor in the legislative session that starts Tuesday.
The bill will be sponsored by State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany. He declared his intention last Friday and will continue this coming Tuesday when the sessions resume. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, will co-sponsor his bill and state Sen. Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis, will sponsor companion legislation.
In his proposed bill, e-cigarettes would be added to Indiana’s state wide smoking ban and manufacturers will be required to make the e-liquid container child-resistant, just like what the New York law has advocated.
Liquid nicotine is an additive used by e-cigarette user to give flavor to the device. This will turn to vapors as the e-cigarette is heated by the batteries attached to it. The users will suck the vapor and exhale it or inhale it completely, depending on their desire.
There are a lot of unknown factors about e-cigarettes’ effects on health, according to Clere. They have chemical ingredients unlike that of the regular cigarette. He also observed the rising use of e cigarettes among the young people. They refer to e cigarette stores as “Vape shops”, he added.
“These shops are springing up all over the state and flying under the radar,” he said during a Statehouse news conference.
The perception is that e-cigarettes are a less dangerous option for people who don’t want to stop smoking or just don’t have the strength to stop doing it.
The state of Indiana has an existing law that prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. However, Attorney General Greg Zoeller believed that the federal government isn’t strict enough in imposing them.
“Let’s all be clear — e-cigarettes are a new drug-delivery device,” Zoeller said. He continued by saying that a liquid form HTC, one of regular marijuana ingredient and other prohibited drugs have been also been widely used, using the e-cigarette devices.