May 21, 2014

E-cigarettes facing fight in Hazen

By Lee Coleman

If Mary Hillerud of Custer Health has anything to say about it, young people will no longer be able to purchase e-cigarettes in Hazen.
At Monday’s Hazen City Commission meeting, Hillerud presented a resounding case for the city to adopt an ordinance banning the new gas version of a cigarette, designed to attract young people and perhaps lead them to tobacco use.
My concern is these are not considered a tobacco product,” Hillerud said. “They don’t have to be behind the counter like tobacco. The tobacco sales people are pressuring kids to buy these because they are more accessible. Our businesses are compliant but there is no age limit. They have become more and more available. I think we should look at doing something.”
According to Hillerud, the city of Hazen doesn’t have any local rules on the books about tobacco, thus staying in compliance by following state laws.
“Do these things have the same qualities as tobacco?” asked Mayor Mark Nygard.
“There is national debate,” answered city attorney Pat Donovan.

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