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Last updated: Tue. Feb. 11, 2014 - 01:22 pm EDT

Bill to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors advances

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio Senate panel has approved a measure to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

The bill aims to keep the products out of the hands of those younger than 18. It was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Senate Criminal Justice committee.

The measure has raised some concerns from anti-smoking groups, such as the Ohio State Medical Association, because it defines the items as “alternative nicotine products” rather than tobacco-derived products.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings such as fruit, mint or chocolate.

They have often been described as a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes. But there are few studies exploring exactly what chemicals are in them, and in what concentrations, and whether those levels are harmful.

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