A bill that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors appears unlikely to pass before the New York legislative session ends next week.
E-cigarettes are plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge creating vapor that a smoker inhales.
The devices are unregulated in New York, even for youths. They can be smoked anywhere, any time. Additionally, the water vapor the devices expend doesn’t violate any anti-smoking laws.
The Food and Drug Administration is continuing a lengthy review of e-cigarettes, and has said e-cigarettes could still be regulated as drugs or drug-delivery devices if they are “marketed for therapeutic purposes,” – for example, as a stop-smoking aid.
Alaska, Idaho, Kansas and Maryland have already banned e-cigarettes from being sold to minors (in Alaska, that’s anyone under 19 years old). At least 13 states have introduced laws over the last two years to regulate e-cigarettes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. South Carolina and Tennessee have proposed bans, but no state has enacted one.