Youth Using Electronic Cigarettes on the Rise

Published 08/26 2014 07:37PM

Updated 08/26 2014 08:36PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- "The numbers of teenagers doing it is rising," said Allen Peterson, customer. 

According to a national youth tobacco survey, in 2011 79,000 middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. In 2013, that number rose to more than 250,000. 

"Under the current law, I don't believe that you actually have to card somebody. I believe most of our local retail stores are actually making sure that people are over the age of 18, but I don't think it's a requirement," said Charlie Davis, Representative from the 162 District.

It may not be a requirement, but to a vapor shop in Joplin, it is. 

"We feel like nicotine products would be for people over 18. It's just, it's an addictive substance, so it really shouldn't be in the hands of minors or teenagers," said Amber Steele, Southwest Missouri Vape Shop.

Earlier this year, Bill 841 was presented to Governor Jay Nixon.

"To ensure that e-cigarettes and vapor cigarettes were not sold to minors and then also made sure the vapor products are not considered tobaccos as far as taxation," said Davis. 

It was vetoed down by Governor Nixon. Southwest Missouri Vape Shop still stands strong on their requirement regardless of what the law is. 

"If they're not, we don't do the sale. We won't let them hold anything or try our samples. Our samples don't have nicotine in them, but letting somebody under 18, I feel like would pass on the wrong message," said Steele. 

Representative Charlie Davis says they are going to try again to pass Bill 841. He believes they have the numbers to overwrite that veto.

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