Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Antismoking groups push for veto of R.I. e-cigarette legislation

Providence Journal
July 9, 2013

PROVIDENCE — Banning the use of e-cigarettes by minors should be the sort of legislation antismoking groups support. Instead they are calling for a veto.

On July 1, two days before the General Assembly ended its 2013 session, state lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting persons under the age of 18 from using or purchasing e-cigarettes and other “vapor products” that heat liquid nicotine into a smokable vapor.

But a coalition that includes some of Rhode Island’s largest health advocacy groups calls the bill a “stalking horse” for tobacco and e-cigarette companies that want to exempt the growing industry from the regulations and taxes imposed on traditional tobacco-based products.
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“It is unfortunate that some organizations oppose this obviously sensible measure,” said Gregory Conley, legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a non-profit 501c(4) organization that advocates for e-cigarettes and other “smokeless alternatives.” “We are aware of no genuine arguments in favor of the veto.”

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