Wisconsin Senator: Don’t Ban E-Cigarettes

Grothman comes to products’ defense as a way to stop smoking

Wisconsin Senator: Don’t Ban E-Cigarettes

Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin is now among a number of states that are either considering how to deal with electronic cigarettes or have already passed laws regulating them.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman introduced a bill that would exempt “e-cigarettes” from the state’s 2010 smoking ban, according to a Wisconsin Public Radio report.

He said he's pushing the bill after hearing concerns that the ban may include e-cigarettes. Grothman said that would be a shame.

“E-cigarettes provide a way for people to stop smoking, and it seems to me to discourage the use of these cigarettes by forcing people to go outside is not what we had in mind with our smoking ban,” Grothman said, according to the report.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that turn nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor for users to inhale. The safety of the device hasn't been fully studied, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering how to regulate it at the federal level.

Grothman said people who want to include e-cigarettes under the smoking ban want to control the way people live. “There's no harm that comes from e-cigarettes, like the harm that you have from regular cigarettes,” he said. “Not to mention there's no harm from secondhand smoke, so, why wouldn't you allow it?”

Grothman chairs the Senate committee that is considering the bill. He hopes to hold a public hearing when the legislature returns in January.