Council bans sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18 – The Courier-Journal

Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal; 1:53 a.m. EDT April 11, 2014

Without debate, the Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve an ordinance banning the sale of electronic cigarettes and “e-cigarette accessories” to those under the age of 18.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Steve Beshear signed a bill passed recently by the state House and Senate prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes and related devices to those under age of 18, regardless of whether the devices contain nicotine, said Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson.

The Louisville measure, however, goes a step further and takes precedent locally over the state regulation. The metro ordinance bans the sale of products to those under the age of 18 at hookah bars.

Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13th District, who co-sponsored the ordinance along with Councilwomen Mary Woolridge, D-3rd, and Marilyn Parker, R-18th, said she doesn’t believe the local measure prohibits youths from entering hookah bars.

But the ordinance does prohibit the sale of a nontobacco product called “herbal shisha” that is intended to be smoked in a waterpipe.

The ordinance defines “e-cigarette” as a product that is intended “to convert its contents into a vapor form that delivers nicotine or other substances to a user.” The measure covers products that contain a battery-operated heating element, or a rechargeable cartridge.

The ordinance says no minor shall “use, consume, purchase or possess” any e-cigarette, and no retailer shall sell or distribute to any minor products covered by the measure.

Reporter Sheldon S. Shafer can be reached at (502) 582-7089. Follow him on Twitter at @sheldonshafer.

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