Connecticut moves closer to restricting vapor cigarettes

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A customer holds an e-cigarette at the Henley Vaporium in New York City

(REUTERS)

HARTFORD — Connecticut smokers of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products may soon face the same restrictions as tobacco smokers.

It’s now up to the state Senate to act on a bill that would prevent people from using e-cigarettes in state buildings, restaurants, places that serve alcohol, schools, health care facilities and other locations. There’s an exception in the bill for places with five or fewer employees.

Some lawmakers have voiced concerns about possible negative health effects from the devices. Connecticut banned the sale of “electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products” to minors last year.

Rep. Matthew Ritter, the Public Health Committee co-chairman, said the bill, which cleared the House of Representatives late Thursday on a 99-46 vote, essentially models the state’s existing clean indoor air act that restricts tobacco smoking.