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E--cigarettes up for debate at Montana Legislature


Last updated 1/20/2015 at 2:34am

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers considered for the first time Monday whether to regulate electronic cigarettes.

Sen. Diane Sands brought the bill before the Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee on behalf of the Montana attorney general's office.

Senate Bill 66 would include e-cigarettes, related electronic paraphernalia and nicotine under the state's definition of "tobacco products" that people under the age of 18 cannot legally access.

Sands, a Democrat from Missoula, and Jon Bennion, deputy attorney general, said at least 40 other states have banned youth access to e-cigarettes.

A dozen people representing various vaporizer retailers in Montana spoke against the bill, saying the definition of e-cigarettes as tobacco products is misleading.

"We cannot call it tobacco because it has no tobacco in it; we cannot call it smoking because there is no combustion," opponent Lance Strever, an independent online reviewer of vaporizers, said of electronic cigarettes. "We cannot fully re


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