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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Closer To Banning Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

E-cigarettes are currently legal to purchase by anyone in Oregon.

The Oregon Senate approved a measure Monday that would ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors as well as ban the use of e-cigarettes in the same places where traditional cigarettes are prohibited.

E-cigarettes heat up flavored liquid that the user inhales as a vapor. Some contain nicotine. All are currently legal to purchase by anyone in Oregon.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is developing regulations for the increasingly popular product, but Democratic Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson said Oregon shouldn't wait for the feds to act.

"The FDA is beginning to propose rules, but in the absence of strong federal regulation, Oregon has to lead the way on this issue,” she said.

Oregon is one of a handful of states that hasn't yet banned sales of e-cigarettes to minors. The measure now heads to the Oregon House for final approval.

Separate proposals to tax e-cigarettes like regular tobacco products have failed to make it out of committee.