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Idaho House Votes To Regulate Vaping

Idaho Public Television

The Idaho House on Friday said yes to some state regulation of vaping.

By a 38-32 vote, the chamber voted to treat vaping the same as smoking. That means retailers would have to secure permits to sell vape products. The bill also makes it illegal to sell those products to minors.

During debate on the House floor, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Rep. Fred Wood [R-Burley], a retired physician, argued the state can no longer ignore the popularity and danger of vaping.

“People in here have spoken about middle schoolers that are vaping. Really? I mean, if we’re getting to the point where we’ve got 10%, next year it’ll be 20%, the following year, 30%, of sixth and seventh graders becoming addicted to nicotine, that is incredible," Wood said.

Several lawmakers rose to say they are generally wary of government regulation, but in this case, it makes sense.

Representative Vito Barbieri [R-Coeur d'Alene], who owns a vape shop in Post Falls, says vaping is getting a bad name. He says it’s helping his customers wean themselves from smoking, which he claims is far worse.

“This bill moves us in the wrong direction, both for tobacco cessation and because it’s more regulation for the sake of increased bureaucratic oversight. Parity with cigarettes is a false premise. Vaping gets people off of smoking and they’re not the same thing," Barbieri said.

He and others argued the bill won’t keep vape products out of the hands of young people.

The bill now moves to the Senate.