Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill Monday that would have prevented e-cigarettes from being taxed and regulated as a tobacco product. The law would have banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and would have subjected e-cigarette companies to local and state sales taxes, but Nixon saw holes in the bill.
“The FDA is already moving forward to ban the sale of these products to minors. Until more is known about the health effects of these products, letting tobacco companies off the hook with special loopholes would pose a real threat to Missourians’ health now and in the future,” Nixon said in a statement.
The American Cancer Society and a number of other health organizations have called for a veto, saying that e-cigarettes have not been thoroughly tested and that it’s unclear whether they’re safe.
E-cigarettes work by using power from a battery to heat a liquid infused with flavorings and nicotine, vaporizing it into a cloud of cool mist that is then inhaled. However, the vapor from e-cigarettes does not contain tar, considered the deadliest component of cigarette smoke.
As tobacco users addicted to nicotine search for a way to quit smoking or to satisfy their cravings without the health risks of tar, e-cigarette sales nationwide have increased 50 percent per year, according to Citibank’s investment banking branch.