The bill was sponsored by Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, and would place a restriction on sale and use of tobacco and vaping products. “I think this would have a very positive effect on Idaho,” said Martin.

The senator introduced a similar bill in 2017, but the State Affairs Committee voted against it after witnessing a number of testimonies during a 90-minute public hearing. A coalition of various health and education groups, called Tobacco 21 Idaho, rightly pointed out that the vast majority of smokers light up their first cigarette in their teenage years, hence they predict that limiting access of tobacco products to minors will lessen this problem.

The danger of regulating e-cigarettes as tobacco products

E-cigs are proven to be effective smoking cessation tools, therefore it would make sense to have them available for adolescents who are already addicted to tobacco.
However, public health experts have long been pointing out that placing e-cigarettes on the same shelf as regular cigarettes and regulating them in the same way, could prove detrimental to public health. E-cigarettes are proven to be the most effective smoking cessation tools available to date, therefore it would make sense to have them available as smoking cessation aids for adolescents who are already struggling with a tobacco addiction.


Since last Wednesday’s session was only a bill introduction hearing, public comments were not taken. However, State Affairs Chairman Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, told all attendees that the bill “will be back, depending on disposition of chairman, for a full vetting.”

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