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California Considers Banning Online Tobacco, E-Cigarette Sales

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Online sales of electronic cigarettes and tobacco could be banned under a bill introduced by lawmakers on Monday.

Claiming kids and teens have easy access to tobacco and electronic cigarettes, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) is introducing a bill blocking people from buying both on the Web.

"We need to do more to protect our children from a tobacco addiction and a lifetime of health-related problems," he said. "Because there is no physical presence of the seller with the buyer, it is easy for a young person who is not eligible to buy tobacco products or e-cigarettes to do so."

Roughly 1 in 10 smokers are buying their cigarettes online.

Traditional tobacco is not the only product being targeted. Anti-smoking advocates are focused on electronic cigarettes.

"E-cigarettes are very much an emergency trend, and they are being marketed very closely to children and teens," said Kori Titus with Breathe California.

The nicotine in e-cigarettes comes through vapor instead of tobacco. Since the health risks are still being studied, Titus believes they should not fall into the hands of children.

"Certainly some of them may have a lower content of nicotine delivery than a cigarette, others have a much higher delivery," she said.

Shop owners like Barry Smith at the Electric Cigarette Lounge say the safety of children is being used to push through another nanny bill.

"Yeah we have strawberry, but don't adults like strawberry margaritas, or strawberry pie, or raspberry this," he said. "We aren't going after kids. It's ludicrous."

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