Vape shops warned to keep e-cigs from youth

Vape shops warned to keep e-cigs from youth
This undated image provided by Resound Marketing shows a screen grab of the new Blu Ecigs advertisement featuring Jenny McCarthy.

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - Police in eastern Idaho say more youths are using vapor cigarettes in the region, and they're warning vendors that it's illegal to sell the nicotine-delivery devices to minors.

The Idaho State Journal reports several of the so-called vape shops have opened in Pocatello in recent months.

"We want to remind and educate vendors of these devices that it is illegal to sell to minors," said Lt. Paul Manning, Pocatello police's public information officer. "Vendors have to be responsible and check government-issued identification to verify the age of their customers to ensure they are not selling to underage customers."

Manning says once officers educate shops on the rules, they will start enforcing through random checks.

Idaho lawmakers placed a ban on sales of e-cigarettes to minors because they contain nicotine, which is found in regular cigarettes, and that law went into effect in July 2012.

Bannock County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution in December that added e-cigarettes to the smoking ban inside all county buildings.

Commissioner Howard Manwaring said the move came after county officials received complaints about the use of the vapor cigarettes in county facilities.

"There were disruptions in court hearings and other meetings because of e-cigarettes," he told the Journal. "E-cigarettes are still perceived as smoking, and they do have some odor."

The electronic inhalers vaporize a liquid solution into an aerosol mist that contains the following four ingredients: Propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, a controllable amount of liquid nicotine concentrate and flavoring. The devices don't produce smoke like standard cigarettes do.

Despite concerns, the owner of Mad Vaporz in Pocatello, Steve Cox, has pointed out in the past that there are over 500 chemicals in traditional cigarettes, besides tobacco.

"On top of that, 4,000 to 6,000 chemical compounds are created when the cigarette is burned," Cox said.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still investigating vapor cigarettes. Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, says the devices have "at least the potential for harm" because it's not yet known what happens to someone who stops inhaling the tars of cigarettes and inhales only nicotine.

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Information from: Idaho State Journal