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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 26, 2015 04:32 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibition of sale of electronic cigarettes to minors
I plan to introduce legislation which prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

The popularity of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, has grown over the past few years. In fact, according to CDC, the number of students in grades 6-12 reporting having ever used an e-cigarette more than doubled from 3.3 percent to 7.7 percent from 2011 to 2013. Recent use of e-cigarettes among high school students tripled from 1.5 percent to 4.5 percent in this time frame, including a 61 percent from 2.8 percent in 2012. Another national study, “Monitoring the Future,” found recent e-cigarette use among teens exceeded traditional cigarette smoking in 2014 for the first time ever. E-cigarette use among 8th and 10th graders was double that of traditional cigarette smoking.

In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposal to start oversight over e-cigarettes as tobacco products but to date has not issued final regulations. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices which allow users to inhale a vapor containing nicotine or other substances.

E-cigarettes are frequently available in different flavors (i.e., cotton candy, bubble gum, chocolate) which may appeal to children and teens. Today, there are nearly 500 brands of e-cigarettes on the market and they come in over 7,700 different flavors.

The bill would amend Title 18 (Crime Code) to include electronic cigarettes within the restrictions that currently apply to the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors. Given that the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are still being studied, I believe it is vital that we take the initiative to update our law to ensure that this new product stays out of the hands of our youth. This measure is supported by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Introduced as SB751