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Politicians Pushing For Tougher Regulations On E-Cigarettes
Updated January 13, 2015 8:25 AM
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(UNDATED) - As the popularity of electronic cigarettes grows, Indiana politicians will consider a bill this session at curbing teens using the products.

The proposal comes after a national survey revealed that more teens used electronic cigarettes in 2014 than any tobacco products.

E-cigarettes don't contain tobacco, but they do contain nicotine and that has law makers concerned.

Many are using the product to kick using tobacco.

But Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says there are no facts to back up claims that e-cigarettes are an effective method of cessation.

"Those that sell the product says it will help you kick the habit, but that has not been proven," Zoeller added.

He says a 2009 lab analysis found detectable levels of carcinogens and toxic chemicals and even small amounts of diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze in one brand. The tests also found that the cartridges contained different nicotine levels than what was indicated on the labels.

Zoeller says teens are buying the product. President and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute Bill Stanczykiewicz says there was a 2 percent increase in teen use of the products in 2014.

The proposal would also require e-liquids to be sold in child-resistant packaging.

A Centers for Disease Control study found that the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.

Enforcement has become an issue, so Zoeller wants to require all stores selling e-cigarette products licensed.

"That would give the Alcohol Tobacco Commission the authority to send in essentially excise police to go and check, essentially the same way they do at liquor stores," he says.

Zoeller also wants legislators to consider taxing electronic cigarettes similarly to traditional cigarettes. The tax money would be used for tobacco and vaping cessation efforts throughout the state.

Another controversial aspect of the bill is including e-cigarettes in the statewide smoking ban.

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