DES MOINES (MCT) — Gov. Terry Branstad, who made Terrace Hill and the governor’s office smoke-free the day he took office, is open to regulating electronic cigarettes in much the same way as the traditional variety.
Iowa law prohibits smoking in workplaces other than on casino floors, but electronic cigarettes – e-cigarettes – are not covered by the five-year-old Iowa Smoke-free Air Act.
Branstad wouldn’t commit to any specific regulation of e-cigarettes, which are battery-operated products that heat liquid nicotine derived from tobacco plants into a vapor that the user inhales. However, during a visit to Timberline Manufacturing in Marion Tuesday, he said he is “absolutely interested” in looking at proposals by Attorney General Tom Miller to regulate e-cigarettes.
Last week, Miller called on state lawmakers to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors, add e-cigarettes to products covered by the state’s Smoke-free Air Act and tax them more than the standard state sales tax rate.
In addition to looking at Miller’s proposal, Branstad wants to look at what other states have done before deciding the appropriate course of action.
He compared e-cigarettes to synthetic drugs created to circumvent state and federal drug laws.
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