Lawmakers overturn veto, prohibit teens from buying e-cigarettes

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COLUMBIA - A decision from Missouri lawmakers to overturn a veto from Gov. Jay Nixon has prohibited anyone under 18 years old from buying electronic cigarettes.

George Day, owner of Juice Box Vapor Lounge, said his store already prohibited minors from making any type of purchase before Thursday's legislative decision.

"It's a moral issue with me and my wife. [We] decided before we even started to not cater to minors," said Day. "I feel like a minor isn't responsible enough to handle the responsibilities of taking on an addiction. Nicotine is an addiction. Smoking, vaping is all an addiction."

James O'Shea, manager of Aqueous Vapors, said his store also prohibits anyone under 18 from making any type of purchase at his store.

O'Shea said he supports Missouri lawmakers' decision.

"Lawmakers saw the risk of having teenagers get addicted to something we don't really know a whole lot about," said O'Shea.

Columbia resident Dan Merideth is a customer of Aqueous Vapor and echoed Day's and O'Shea's concerns of teenagers getting their hands on electronic cigarettes.

"I think it's awesome they aren't going to sell them to minors, just like regular cigarettes shouldn't be sold to minors," said Merideth. "If they can't have a cigarette, then they shouldn't be allowed to have e-cigs."

Tiffany Gambino led a discussion Thursday night on electronic cigarettes and vapor awareness at the Columbia and Boone County Board of Health Meeting.

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