RICHMOND (WRIC) - A state lawmaker is pushing to make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.
Currently e-cigarettes are not regulated like tobacco so it's actually legal to sell them to kids.
Meant for adults as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes are growing in popularity but not just among adults. More and more teens are picking up e-cigs and because it's not regulated it's perfectly legal for them to do so.
Delegate David Ramadan has introduced a bill to make it illegal for minors to purchase e-cigs, saying he got the idea from parents that approached him.
"Under 18 children were able to buy these cigarette looking product in malls and they have seen a trend in children starting to use it."
Donovan Phillips owns Avail Vapor. His store doesn't sell e-cigs to anyone under 18 and he supports moves to make that the law, saying it hurts the reputation of legitimate businesses like his own.
"A little of self-regulation as far as the industry is concerned," he says. "We want to kind of set the bar, and then keep it very high so it reflects in our products and our choices to sell our products."
As for the harmful effects of e-cigs on minors, Dr. David Arkin says the effects could be serious.
"We have once again, young children have the potential to become addicted to nicotine for the next 50, 60 years of their life," he says. "It can affect your heart, if you read the warning labels on nicotine patches, it will give you all the side effects of nicotine and they're substantial."
While it is a better alternative to cigarettes, there's no health benefits for kids who start to smoke.
Arkin says there is still a lot not known about e-cigarettes and that after more research, more problems could potentially be discovered.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
301 Arboretum Place, Richmond
Can't find something?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.