ST. PAUL, Minn. - A plan to classify electronic cigarettes in the same fashion as the conventional kind has survived its toughest committee test and now awaits a Senate floor vote.
The bill cleared the Senate Commerce Committee after an attempt to weaken the proposed regulations failed Monday on a 7-6 vote. It would add so-called 'vaping' to state indoor air laws that bar tobacco use in public places and most businesses.
The e-cigarette devices heat a liquid nicotine solution. Users inhale a vapor but they don't emit the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Product advocates say it sends the wrong signal to treat them equally before scientific studies determine health risks.
No one spoke against provisions that would impose criminal penalties in cases where the devices are sold to minors.