OKLAHOMA – An Oklahoma lawmaker is trying to curb a growing trend among middle school and high school students.
Their e-cigarette use has almost doubled in the past year, according to the CDC.
Although electronic cigarettes are believed to be less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, State Representative Pat Ownbey says kids can still get hooked to the nicotine.
E-cigarettes use a battery to vaporize a nicotine solution that is inhaled.
Ownbey has co-authored a bill that would make it illegal for minors to buy them.
The bill would expand the definition of tobacco products to include all nicotine delivery products, which has been a booming industry since 2007.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, and I think research will show, that it will also help those young people who start on e-cigarettes to move up to cigarettes,” Ownbey said Thursday. “At least that is a possibility.”
Misty Flowers, an e-cigarette user, doubts the law will have much of an impact.
“I don’t think my influence or the government’s influence really has a whole lot to do with it when they get to a certain age,” she said. “It’s really more of who their friends are.”
Ownbey said the bill has to be filed in the House within the next two weeks to be considered next session.