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Regulate e-cigarettes

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Letter to the Editor
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

I am urging my colleagues in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to make sure minors can't purchase electronic cigarettes.

I have introduced a bill to make it crystal clear to Pennsylvania residents and retailers that e-cigarettes should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Most Pennsylvanians don't realize that the laws that apply to the sale of traditional cigarettes do not apply to electronic cigarettes. My legislation would fix that.

As e-cigarettes have grown in popularity — particularly among individuals trying to switch from regular cigarettes — I decided to make sure that minors cannot get their hands on this product. Many retailers do not know how to monitor and regulate the purchase of e-cigarettes at their stores. This legislation is direct, to the point, with no ambiguity.

This product is for adults only. E-cigarettes could prove to be a useful tool for adult smokers to quit using tobacco. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still considering regulations on e-cigarettes, more than half of the states already have outlawed sales to minors. Pennsylvania should quickly join them to prevent use of any nicotine products by our children.

I urge Pennsylvanians to join with me and call on their state senators to move Senate Bill 1055 and vote to protect our children.

Tim Solobay

The writer is a Democrat state senator from Canonsburg, Washington County.

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