Massachusetts Next to Limit E-Cigarette Sales?

Proposal would ban sale to consumers younger than 18

NATICK, Mass. -- A new bill presented in Massachusetts would prohibit sale of e-cigarettes and other "nicotine-delivery devices’’ to anyone under 18 in the commonwealth.

The bill was filed last week by Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, D-Jamaica Plain, according to a Metro West Daily News report. Tami Gouveia, executive director of Tobacco Free Mass, is cheering the bill because she’s concerned such devices when glamorized by celebrities, like Jenny McCarthy and Johnny Depp, encourage minors to smoke.

"We regard them as an initiation pathway to using cigarettes. It’s dangerous to think of e-cigarettes as less dangerous than regular cigarettes. That’s what the industry wants us to think,’’ she told the newspaper.

Sanchez’s bill "prohibits sale of nicotine delivery products … to anyone under 18" and restricts retailers and manufacturers from providing samples of such products "except in tobacco stores and smoking bars.’’

Sanchez said he wrote his bill because current state laws "are silent on the availability of e-cigarettes to minors.’’

"Right now, my 7-year-old daughter could walk in and buy them at several locations and nobody would say anything. We want to make such products inaccessible to children. … We need to keep our children from becoming a new generation of nicotine addicts,’’ he told the newspaper.