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Minn. Bills Would Treat E-Cigs as Standard Smokes

Updated: 02/26/2014 4:39 PM
Created: 02/26/2014 9:56 AM WDIO.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Both sides in a debate over electronic cigarettes say scientific evidence is still out about the health safety of the devices, but bills to regulate them could advance anyway in the Minnesota Legislature.

The House Health and Human Services Committee heard arguments Wednesday about whether to impose controls similar to those on traditional tobacco products.

Democratic Rep. Laurie Halvorson says there is plenty of concern about what's in the liquid that produces e-cigarette vapors. She also says regulations are necessary to keep them away from children.

About 200 shops have applied for licenses to sell battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution. Users inhale a vapor but they don't emit the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Industry officials argue they're a lower health risk than standard cigarettes.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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