Calls Rising For E-Cig Law Veto - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Calls Rising For E-Cig Law Veto

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(WLNS) - A coalition of state medical groups is speaking out about two bills Governor Snyder is considering signing into law.

The bills would make it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes--or e-cigs--to minors.

But, surprisingly, some medical officials are asking the governor to veto them.

Electronic cigarettes. They're becoming increasingly popular among people trying to quit smoking.

But lawmakers are concerned that popularity is extending to children.

And technically it's still legal for minors to buy and use e-cigs in Michigan.

State Senator Rick Jones sponsored two bills to change that.

"We have passed this--it's ready to go. The governor needs to get on board and block electronic cigarette sales to children," says Sen. Jones.

But recently a coalition of state medical groups have asked the governor to veto Jones' bills.

"Basically the coalition feels like the current legislation doesn't go far enough," says Dr. Fred Van Alstine.

Dr. Fred Van Alstine with the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians says e-cigs have high levels of nicotine and are a health risk to everyone, not just minors.

The last thing we want is another generation of individuals addicted to nicotine.

Van Alstine says the coalition, which includes the State Medical Society and Michigan's Osteopathic Association want the state legislature to classify e-cigs as a tobacco product.

Which Jones bills falls short of doing.

"They say let's make them like cigarettes and put a tax on them. That doesn't solve the problem we have. We just need to keep them out of the hands of children. If the governor vetoes the bills--in my opinion--he's making a huge mistake. It's not the answer," says Sen. Jones.

Jones does mention putting a tax on e-cigs. The medical coalition says they're not concerned with new taxes; they're only focused on public health.

The governor could make a decision on the pending legislation as early as Monday.

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