UPDATE: Electronic cigarettes bill clears hurdle

UPDATED Thursday, March 13, 2014 --- 1:06 p.m

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bill allowing electronic cigarettes indoors has cleared a Wisconsin Senate committee.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 on Thursday to pass the bill that would exempt the newly popular e-cigarettes from the state's indoor smoking ban.

Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman, the bill's sponsor, says he's never smoked cigarettes but that he's tried the electronic devices and that he can't smell the vapor.

Smokers back use of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking conventional cigarettes.

Doctors and scientists say toxic particles in the nicotine-laced vapor could be dangerous to others. They say the state should wait for more research on potential hazards before allowing widespread use indoors.

The bill's prospects are uncertain as both chambers have just two days left this session.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Thursday, March 13, 2014 --- 6:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill that would let smokers use electronic cigarettes indoors.

The bill is up for a committee vote Thursday and would need to pass both chambers before becoming law. Lawmakers are scheduled to work only two more days before the end of the session.

Sen. Glenn Grothman introduced the bill last week. The West Bend Republican says he's never smoked regular cigarettes but he's tried an e-cigarette and couldn't smell the vapor.

Doctors have opposed allowing the devices indoors before researchers can study potential hazards of e-cigarette vapor.

The devices use a heating coil to turn a flavored and nicotine-laced liquid into a vapor that users inhale. Supporters of the bill tout e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, March 5, 2014 --- 7:08 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Even as the nation's second-largest city is moving to ban electronic cigarettes where tobacco smoking is prohibited, Wisconsin lawmakers are considering doing just the opposite.

A Republican-sponsored bill to clarify that using e-cigarettes indoors is legal, despite a statewide ban on indoor smoking, drew opposition Wednesday from doctors, scientists and others who cited concerns over the product's safety.

The science behind whether the vapors from the devices are toxic to bystanders hasn't caught up with use.

Five states and dozens of cities have moved to treat e-cigarettes nearly the same as conventional cigarettes. The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban their use in workplaces and public areas.

Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman's bill would do the opposite, allowing e-cigarette users to inhale the nicotine-laced vapors indoors.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2014 ---- 5:24 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Electronic cigarettes could be used indoors, despite Wisconsin's smoking ban, under a proposal that's up for a public hearing.

The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee is scheduled to take testimony on the measure Wednesday. Committee chairman Sen. Glenn Grothman is also the bill's sponsor.

The measure would effectively allow e-cigarette users to smoke where traditional smoking is banned. Wisconsin's statewide indoor smoking ban took effect in 2010. Grothman's bill would exempt the devices, which smokers use to inhale nicotine-laced vapors, from the law.

Four states currently treat e-cigarettes nearly the same as conventional tobacco products, prohibiting them where cigarettes and cigars are banned.

Alcohol and convenience store lobbyists support the bill while various health associations oppose it.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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