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State measure advances to put e-cigs behind counter

SPRINGFIELD – Two proposals were passed out of the Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday that seek to protect children from e-cigarettes.

The first proposal, House Bill 5868, states that electronic cigarettes must be sold behind the counter of convenience stores or in sealed display cases to keep them out of the curious hands of underage children.

“E-cigarettes contain nicotine, just like regular cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco,” said sponsor Sen. John Mulroe, who is chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee. “These other products must be contained behind a counter or in a sealed case, so it stands to reason that electronic cigarettes should be contained in the same fashion.”

The second measure, House Bill 5689, would require the nicotine liquid marketed for refillable electronic cigarettes to be sold in child-proof containers.

“The number of calls to poison control centers across the nation has increased exponentially in the last few years due to accidental child consumption of e-cigarette’s nicotine liquid,” Mulroe said. “These liquids are often flavored and have an appetizing aroma, but consumption of an entire vile can cause nicotine poisoning.”

Both proposals passed out of the Senate Public Health Committee unanimously and will now move to the Senate for a full vote.

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