West Virginia House Passes Law Banning E-Cigarettes for Minors

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A proposal to keep minors from using electronic cigarettes has passed the West Virginia House of Delegates.

The legislation would outlaw the sale of vapor-based e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products to children under 18. The bill covers toothpicks, lozenges, and other non-tobacco products that are chewed, absorbed or otherwise ingested.

The Ohio Senate passed a similar bill on Wednesday.

Selling the items to minors would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to $100 in fines, and up to $500 for multiple infractions.

Children who illegally smoke, chew or otherwise use the products could be fined $50 and serve eight hours' community service. Penalties can increase in subsequent offenses.

The battery-powered e-cigarettes let smokers take aerosol puffs usually containing nicotine. Flavors range from chocolate to bubble gum.

The House cleared the proposal Thursday. The Senate will consider it next.