Bill in works to ban e-cig sales to minors statewide

Posted at: 01/28/2014 6:41 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The state appears to be ready to follow Albuquerque's lead and ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors all over the state.

This one has legs. With broad support in both parties and little if any opposition, it may be a slam dunk. You can pretty much bet the ranch on it.

If the e-cig ban passes, anyone selling them to a minor could be looking at a misdemeanor and a fine of up to $1,000, and that would include internet sales too.

It's Four Corners republican Paul Bandy's bill.

"They have bubblegum flavors and cherry flavors and that sort of thing - so it may be a way to attract young people to smoking and we don't think that's a very good idea," Bandy said.

Many Democrats think Bandy's bill is a very good idea.

"It's still nicotine and it's still putting stuff into your lungs and we don't know the consequences. It's much better if kids don't start with that and I think I would probably vote in favor of that legislation if it comes to that," Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque said.

There are still no federal laws in place to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to kids, and while local governments are cracking down here and there many lawmakers feel it's time for a state ban.

There may be a Senate version of the bill in the works. Lawmakers say they'll do their best to reconcile any differences and get solidly behind one bill that seems to have the best shot of passing and making it to the governor's desk.