The Heartland Institute is opposing measures to increase the legal age for using electronic cigarette products.
According to the institute, by the end of February state legislatures had seen more than 200 bills introduced to regulate some aspect of the e-cigarette market, including bans on certain flavors, increased tax rates and restrictions limiting use to people age 21 or older.
In states like Connecticut, Iowa and Nebraska, proposals to increase the e-cigarette age to 21 have not been advanced in concert with similar laws regarding conventional tobacco-based products, according to the institute.
“The fact that state lawmakers would restrict access to less harmful cigarette alternatives while allowing access to their more harmful counterparts indicates many lawmakers don’t understand how effective e-cigarettes are as a tobacco harm reduction product,” wrote Lindsey Stroud, Heartland’s state government relations manager.
According to Stroud, lawmakers proposing e-cigarette legislation are reacting to questionable data on an increase in young people trying e-cigarettes and overlooking research showing e-cigarettes have been effective in helping adults reduce or quit tobacco use.