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Iowa Senate Bans Minor's Access to E-Cigarettes

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DES MOINES The Iowa Senate voted 37-12 Monday to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors in Iowa.

House File 2109 would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as the possession by minors of the battery-operated products that heat liquid nicotine and produce a vapor users can inhale. Senators agreed to expand the ban to include the sale of fruit-flavored, nicotine-free e-cigarettes to children.

"Backers said the amended version would go beyond FDA guidelines announced this week with an enforceable state law, but senators turned back a more-expansive proposal offered by Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, that would have curtailed the marketing, promotion and widespread sale of what he viewed as potentially harmful products.

"These are bad for you whether you're an adult or a minor," said Bolkcom, whose proposed amendment was defeated by a voice vote.

Sen. Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, said he was sympathetic to Bolkcom's proposal, but he feared it would be "a killer amendment" that the House would not take up. He said he has been told the House will accept the Senate version and send it to Gov. Terry Branstad for his consideration.

Twenty-two Republicans and 15 Democrats voted for HF2109, while 11 Democrats and one GOP senator opposed the measure.

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