HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- A product that's helping adults quit smoking may be leading to a new bad habit for some children. Now, one state senator is pushing legislation to make it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to anyone under 18.
Each puff of an e-cigarette reminds him of his old, bad habit. "I was doing three packs a day," says Sophal Duch, owner of Holland Vapors. Duch says e-cigarettes helped him quit. "No chemicals, no smoke, notar."
In fact,Duch based his new e-cigarette store on his positive experience. Somemight expect that he'd oppose a law that would limit his business, but it'sjust the opposite. "Wecheck IDs, if they don't have it we tell them we can't sell to them," says Duch.
Duch is reacting to new legislation that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 18. WZZM 13 found out that his store and several others are already complying.
"I think it's a bad idea for young people because sometimes they'll take it to another extreme," says Duch. "Wewant to keep kids away from nicotine."
The nicotine in e-cigarettes is also what concerns State Senator Rick Jones, who's co-sponsoring the bill meant to protect minors. "It would make it a crime to sell to children, just like it is to sell cigarettes," says Senator Jones. "Electroniccigarettes come in flavors such as root beer, orange, and children are attracted to them, so I want to stop this before it continues, we don't want children going from e-cigarettes to real cigarettes."
Duch has taken the opposite path. "It helps me not have the craving," he says.
Senator Jones says he has no problem with the product for any adult trying to kick an old habit. He says e-cigarettes are also allowed indoors unless a property owner bans them. His proposal would make it a misdemeanor with a $50 fine for anyone who sells to a minor.