By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Amid the growing debate over possible health risks posed by electronic cigarettes, a Philadelphia lawmaker is proposing banning their sale to minors in the city.
City Councilman Bill Greenlee believes more study is needed on the potential risks of electronic cigarettes, and he says until then, stores should be prohibited from selling them to minors.
“We think, at least when it comes to kids, when there’s a question, we should err on the side of limiting — or not allowing sales to them — until such studies are more definitive,” he said.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that look like regular cigarettes and simulate smoking. Greenlee’s proposal would ban their sale to anyone in the city under 18. His proposal comes on the heels of a similar measure introduced last month that would add e-cigarettes to the city’s existing smoking ban.
That bill was authored by Bill Green, who resigned from City Council this week to become chairman of the School Reform Commission. The Green bill has not yet been debated in committee. Greenlee says he supports Green’s plan and wants to see both become law.
The state does regulate the sale of tobacco products in the city, but has no regulations regarding e-cigarettes that would pre-empt Greenlee’s effort.