E-cigarettes could soon face stricter regulations

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – E-cigarettes and other vape products are growing in popularity, especially among teenagers.

That’s why some state lawmakers want to make sure e-cigarettes are regulated the same way as any other tobacco product.

A bill at the statehouse would place the two types of nicotine products under the same regulations. It would also increase the age to purchase cigarettes or e-cigarettes to 21, ban e-cigarettes from smoke free workplaces, and label them as a “tobacco product.”

Marie Oquinn told 22News, she thinks the proposal is a good idea.” I do have grandkids, and I wouldn’t like to see my grandkids smoking e-cigarettes just because it’s not regulated. It’s nicotine just like any other cigarette,” she said.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette use among high school students jumped more than 900% between 2011 and 2015. Many health advocates worry that if the laws don’t change, those numbers will only continue to rise.

Sabrina Macneil of Springfield told 22News she doesn’t think changing the age will make much of a difference. “I think that if people under the age of 21 want them, they’re going to get them anyways because you can pretty much buy all of that stuff online. It’s very easily accessible, and they could easily just go over to another state,” she said.

E-cigarettes are already labeled as a tobacco product in at least a dozen other states.