Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

Mar 12, 2014

Governor Malloy speaks about the bill at the Trinity College Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He said the makers of the devices may be trying to hook smokers while they're young. 

The e-cigarettes are called nicotine delivery systems, and they've been touted as a way to help some adults stop smoking. They replace tobacco by heating a nicotine-solution into a vapor that is inhaled. But the governor said they've also been a gateway for children to start using tobacco.

"This delivery system might be better than smoking for people who want to use this as an alternative to smoking," Malloy said. "But it has particular danger at potentially enticing children or young people into that habit, which might lead to smoking."

The state and federal government currently do not regulate the devices, but 27 other states have banned the sale of e-cigarettes to children.

Dr. Andrew Salner, who runs the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital, said he's troubled with how the devices are marketed. "A recent CDC report shows that, in the U.S., the percentage of youth using e-cigarettes has more than doubled in the last year," he said. "Might this be in part due to marketing the product to youth, including flavors such as gummy bears, bubble gum, and fireballs?"

The governor's bill was approved this week by the legislature's Committee on Children.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.