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Cortland/Ithaca

New law bans sale of electronic cigarettes to minors

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: New law bans sale of electronic cigarettes to minors
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With the new year comes many new state laws. One of them makes it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to minors. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what kind of feedback the new law is getting from those who know the product.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Electronic Cigarettes Inc. doesn't sell its product to people under the age of 18.

"Regarding sales to minors, we have never done that and we would never do that," said Electronic Cigarettes Inc. owner John Burns.

It's a policy that all retailers in New York State will now have to follow. A new law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors went into effect with the new year. The legislation has the support of some who sell the product.

"We definitely approve of the new law because anything to help kids and protect kids in New York State is a good thing. It's not really going to change the way we do business just because we've always ID'd our customers to make sure they are 18 and over," said Burns.

And local health advocates agree. Electronic cigarettes involve the inhalation of a tarless, vaporized liquid nicotine solution. Although the product is marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, critics say it still contains chemicals that can be harmful to youth and adults.

Advocates also believe that stopping sales to minors can prevent youth from smoking traditional cigarettes in the future.

"We know most people start using tobacco when they are young, so it’s really important to snip out anything that we can that can lead to any step that’s going to get them to use tobacco products," said American Cancer Society Community Mission Manager Susan Moranda.

The hope is, with new regulations, minors will have to wait until they are a little bit older to get their hands on the product.

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