(State House News Service) The sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes to minors would be banned under new regulations Attorney General Maura Healey plans release on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the announcement.
Lawmakers pushing to regulate the growing e-cigarette industry were unsuccessful last session in getting a bill through the House and Senate.
E-cigarettes, which offer a nicotine substitute for smokers but do not contain tobacco, are not currently regulated by state or federal law, and Healey is seeking to use her regulatory authority to act quickly rather than wait for the Food and Drug Administration or the Legislature to consider changes to the law.
Healey plans a press conference at the State House at 2:30 p.m. to announce her plans, and a spokesman for the attorney general declined to comment on Tuesday morning.
Health Care Financing Committee co-chair Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, and Senate Majority leader Harriette Chandler, of Worcester, plan to join Healey in the afternoon.
Sanchez last session also pushed for a bill to include electronic cigarettes in the state's workplace smoking ban.
While there is no statewide ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, at least 44 cities and towns, including Boston, have imposed regulations limiting their sale to those 18 or older, and in some cases banning their use in the workplace.
In a move cheered by former Attorney General Martha Coakley, the FDA last spring proposed a new rule to take on oversight of electronic cigarettes, but the federal agency has yet to finalize the process or put forward regulations that might lead to a nationwide ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 and require e-cigarette manufacturers to register with the FDA and report ingredients.