Iowa Legislature Tackling E-Cigarette Debate

Paul Gutierrez

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM) - The debate is back. This time it's the legislature in Iowa talking about electronic cigarettes.

Lawmakers gave up a thumbs up this week to a plan banning sales to anyone under the age of 18, but that turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg.

In a statement on the House floor, State Representative Mary Mascher said:

"We had an opportunity to make the bill better and this chamber chose not to do that."

Mascher's idea for making it better is to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products so they can be taxed as such.

It's a thought Chris Osbourn is skeptical of as someone who used to own an e-cigarette store in Iowa.

"They're probably fishing about money more than anything," said Osbourn. "That's what it's going to come down to at the end of the day."

As the push to tax the product gains steam, both sides are now left to wonder when this fight will actually take off.

"If they're ever going to tax us I would hope they would do the same to all other industries as well because what's fair is fair."

There's still no word on when taxation talks will resurface. Some Iowa lawmakers are vowing though to bring it up again in the future.