Ohio Senate to consider e-cigarettes restrictions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A measure to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors is now before the Ohio Senate.

The bill up for a vote Wednesday aims to keep the products out of the hands of those under age 18.

Anti-smoking groups such as the Ohio State Medical Association have questioned the measure because it defines the items as "alternative nicotine products" rather than tobacco-derived products. The organization said the new category could exempt the products from taxation laws that govern tobacco.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate. Users get their nicotine without the thousands of chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes.

The Ohio House passed an earlier version of the bill.