State Representative Hood (R-Ashville) announced that the Ohio House recently passed House Bill 144, legislation that prohibits children from buying or accepting alternative nicotine products, most notably electronic cigarettes.

It is already illegal for individuals younger than 18 from purchasing or distributing tobacco products, namely cigarettes. HB 144 expands this prohibition to alternative tobacco products, which include e-cigarettes. Also under the bill, sellers of alternative tobacco products are allowed to check identification in order to validate the age of the would-be customer.

“This bill is a necessary safeguard for Ohio’s children and will keep Ohio’s law up to date as these new tobacco products become more available to the public,” Hood said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that the percentage of middle and high school students in the United States who have tried e-cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. It also found that 76 percent of young people who currently use e-cigarettes also smoked regular cigarettes, leading some experts to believe e-cigarettes may lead to smoking real cigarettes.

HB 144 passed with bipartisan support and will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.”

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