Electronic cigarettes have gained popularity with people looking to stop smoking, but it's also a device for minors to gain access. "It makes no sense that a young person cannot buy a cigarette, but they can certainly buy an e-cigarette," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
DeWine, and other state officials want all e-cigarette retailers in Ohio to have mandatory regulations. The Ohio State Legislature passed a bill that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under 18. The bill heads to Governor John Kasich for his signature.
Business owner Mario Kiezi runs Vape, a electronic cigarette retailer in Bowling Green. He said his business self regulates to keep the product out of the hands of minors."We have an 18 and over rule, where nobody is allowed in the store if they're under 18," Kiezi said.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied e-cigarette use among middle school and high school students. In their findings, during 2011 and 2012, product use increased from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent.
E-cigarettes not marked for therapeutic purposes aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The devices contain flavorings, propylene glycol, and nicotine.
However, retailers like Vape have seen strong business from people looking for an alternative from smoking. "There is a lot of different studies, some good, some bad. My philosophy, my experience with different consumers is that they are better than cigarettes. I mean, in my opinion, there's nothing worse than a cigarette," Kiezi said.The FDA said electronic cigarettes haven't been fully studied for long term effects of using e-cigarettes as intended, the amount of nicotine or potentially harmful chemicals being inhaled, and potential health benefits from using the devices.