New e-cig restrictions for minors in Iowa - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

New e-cig restrictions for minors in Iowa

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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KTIV) -

You may have seen them in restaurants, bars, even on the street, but now, you won't be seeing electronic cigarettes in the hands of Iowa's minors.

"Anything that produces a vapor, they're an alternative nicotine product. Which, some will have nicotine, some might not have nicotine. But they're all illegal for sale to anyone under 18," Sergeant Ron Heimgartner, Special Investigations Unit.

Legislators in the state of Iowa have passed a bill saying all vapor shops will need to have a license, and they won't be able to sell to minors.

But Pat Gill, the owner of Madhouse Vapor says he, and most other e-cigarette shops, have been self-policing in that capacity for a while now.

"It's just good business practices. The last thing that we would want is a bad image, you know, of selling to underagers. That's something that we've never wanted attached to our name," Gill said.

E-cigs have become increasingly popular, causing a lot of questions for legislators. But e-cig vendors say they're working to establish themselves as something different than the tobacco industry entirely.

"The nicotine is delivered relatively cleaner into your system, versus a regular cigarette. We can't make health claims that yes, these are better than cigarettes, but through laying out the process, it's pretty evident," Gill said.

All around, Pat says they're in favor of the new legislation, as they try to create a positive image surrounding their industry.

"Ultimately, at the end of the day, a very clean, common sense bill got passed," Gill said.

And officers say they haven't had any problems in the past, so they aren't expecting to have any in the future.

"We did approximately 110 checks on the tobacco retailers, and we only had about five violations. So they're really good at checking. I don't think we'll have a big problem with the vapor products, either," Sgt. Heimgartner said.

Keeping nicotine products, regardless of their form, out of the hands of minors.

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