CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A proposal to keep minors from using electronic cigarettes has passed the West Virginia House of Delegates.
The legislation would outlaw the sale of vapor-based e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products to children under 18. The bill covers toothpicks, lozenges, and other non-tobacco products that are chewed, absorbed or otherwise ingested.
Selling the items to minors would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to $100 in fines, and up to $500 for multiple infractions.
Children who illegally smoke, chew or otherwise use the products could be fined $50 and serve eight hours' community service. Penalties can increase in subsequent offenses.
The battery-powered e-cigarettes let smokers take aerosol puffs usually containing nicotine. Flavors range from chocolate to bubble gum.
The House cleared the proposal Thursday. The Senate will consider it next.
A similar bill is on the table in Ohio. Click on the link to the right to read more on that legislation.