NYS Bans Sale of E-Cigs To Minors

By Kelly McCarthy

January 3, 2013 Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's not a tobacco cigarette but now the electronic cigarette that's off limits to minors. It simulates smoking a cigarette and still contains nicotine, the addictive component.

A new law that restricts the sale of their product is one the owner of Electronic Cigarettes Inc. actually praises.

"Any company that was selling electronic cigarettes should have been ID-ing people from the beginning, regardless of the law or not it was just the right thing to do," said John Burns, Owner of Electronic Cigarette Inc.

Smokers of the E-cigarette inhale different levels of liquid nicotine without a lot of the harmful ingredients found in regular cigarettes.

A safer alternative for smokers but at price that should not be appealing to minors.

"What minor is really having an extra $80-90 to spend and all of this money to buy this product when they're so expensive," said Burns.

What legislators are concerned is appealing are the variety of flavors these products come in.

A reason why Broome County Health Department is supporting the new law.

"They do flavor some of them also and we know youth are more likely to start using a product that does have a sweeter taste, it's not as harsh, it appeals to them because it's almost a candy type flavor. So that's really a problem," said Sharon Fischer, Coordinator for the Tobacco Free Broome Coalition and a Public Health Educator for the Broome County Health Department.

"Adults like flavors too, we have over 40 different flavors and people like different kinds and to say that only kids like different flavors is just not the truth," said Burns.

E-Cigarettes are not yet approved by the FDA for use at any age.

Until there's more information on risks of this smoking substitute, Broome County is taking the backseat.

"We just want to err on the side of caution and know a lot more about the product, have it go through some testing before we can endorse this product which we can't do right now," said Fischer.

That's something current E-smokers may want to know too.

The ban on selling to minors took effect January 1st.

Sales at Electronic Cigarettes Incorporated have actually increased since the New Year.

But the owner attributes that to smokers sticking with their New Year's Resolutions.