Iowa legislators take first steps to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors
SIOUX CITY (KTIV)- Some say e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to regular tobacco products.
But others say e-cigarettes are just a gateway, encouraging a deadly habit.
E-Cigarettes are causing a nation-wide conversation about the safety of vapor versus smoke, and who should be allowed to use them.
The Iowa House of Representatives has made a statement in that conversation, passing a bipartisan bill that would keep them out of the hands of children.
"At the state level, we're beginning to take some of those first steps to make sure that they're regulated in a thoughtful way, that minors don't have access to them, and that we're not giving opportunities for the issue to get away from us," Rep. Chris Hall, (D) Sioux City said.
While some in the national conversation say the product is a safer alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, Iowa lawmakers say they don't want to take the chance of providing minors with a gateway to a bad habit.
"Although there is no actual smoke, it's a vapor, it could promote kids to take that next step and get hooked on cigarettes," Rep. Ron Jorgensen, (R) Sioux City said.
An addiction that, those with experience say, doesn't go away easily.
"I was addicted to nicotine for 40 years. I'm against anybody poisoning their system with that drug," William Burrows, Sioux City said.
Burrows says risking an addiction to a nicotine product just isn't worth it; not only for yourself, but for the people around you.
"I polluted my wife and children's lungs for that long, exposing them to secondhand smoke, and I don't want to see my grand kids be exposed to the same hazards," Burrows said.
And as this bill makes its way to the Iowa Senate for debate, local lawmakers say they're on the exact same page.
"We don't want minors to be able to have access to nicotine products, we don't want them to have an opportunity to start a bad habit early in their life," Rep. Hall said.
That legislation will be debated in the Senate.
If a large enough number of legislators agree on the bill, they'll send it to the Governor, to sign the bill into law.