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Green Cove Springs bans e-cigs for minors

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Updated: 11/15/2013 7:36 pm
GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The CDC warns more teens are using e-cigarettes at an alarming rate.

Green Cove Springs recently passed an ordinance to keep the electronic alternative to cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

After years of puffing a pack a day, Annie Richardson switched to electronic cigarettes.

"I don't have the congestion I used to have in my chest and I feel a lot better with them," said Richardson.

Richardson calls the electronic alternative a lifesaver, but there are fewer places this Green Cove Springs native can light up her battery-powered device.

City officials recently passed an ordinance that restricts the use of e-cigs in public places where smoking is already banned.

"That's a problem because that's why they make these cigarettes -- for you to smoke anywhere you want to smoke," said Richardson.

It's also a problem for teens trying to get their hands on the relatively new product.

It prohibits the sale of e-cigs to minors.

Area businesses were forced to pull e-cigs from the aisles and place them behind the counter, requiring an ID before purchase.

The ban was sparked by what health experts call a startling statistic reported by the CDC.

Use among high school students doubled nationally: 4.7 percent in 2011 spiked to 10 percent a year later.

Town leaders in Orange Park plan to vote on a similar ban next month. So far, there has been no move by Duval leaders to keep e-cigs out of the hands of minors.

Clay County approved a county-wide ban in the spring, but it only applies to areas outside cities.

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