The Montana Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill to prohibit minors to buy or possess electronic cigarettes.
Senator Diane Sands is the sponsor of Senate Bill 66. She held up what looks like a pen. She says current Montana law doesn’t define an e-cigarette, also known as a personal vaporizer, nor does it ban children from buying them.
"You can find them in schools. Your kids might have them. You would not know that this is a way to inhale both tobacco and other products. It could be spice. It could be medical marijuana. It could be anything else," Sands said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering regulations. In the meantime, states are enacting their own laws.
Senate Bill 66 was requested by the state attorney general. Sands says its aimed at protecting the health of Montana children.
"The federal government is still in the process, the FDA, of figuring out how to regulate this whole industry," said Sands. "But at this point our intention was simply to make sure that minors cannot have access to tobacco, nicotine products through this technology."
The bill passed on a preliminary 39-to-7 vote.