California Lawmakers Block Bill to Regulate E-Cigarettes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A legislative panel has opted not to take up a bill aimed at curbing youth smoking by regulating e-cigarettes in California after a heated hearing.

A separate measure calling for the legal smoking age to be raised to 21 was pulled from the agenda just before Wednesday's hearing by the Committee on Governmental Organization.

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Committee members first amended the e-cigarette bill by Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, gutting its proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. That prompted the Democrat to urge a no vote on his own bill.

Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez of La Puente pulled his measure to increase the smoking age, saying it lacked sufficient support.

The decisions mark a temporary win for tobacco companies that have lobbied lawmakers.

Both bills passed the Senate last month.

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