Dems Want To Ban, Restrict Powdered Alcohol, Electronic Cigs

January 27, 2015

Democratic legislators say they want to ban sales of powdered alcohol and add electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices to the state smoking ban.

Democratic Senator Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee introduced a bill to ban the sale of powdered alcohol, known as Palcohol, which can be added to liquid to create an alcoholic drink. Carpenter and other critics say the potential for abuse – accidentally consuming it or sneaking it into schools or other venues it doesn’t belong – outweighs the need for the product.

The product has been banned in about a half-dozen other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Carpenter has been a state senator since 2002 and has received most of his individual and political action committee contributions since then from labor unions, which have contributed $23,800, and health professionals, who have given him $20,130. Carpenter’s largest individual contributors are Milwaukee businessman Leonard Sobczak at $2,400 and Madison attorney Nancy Rottier at $2,300.

Another Democratic lawmaker, Representative Debra Kolste of Janesville, says she wants to add electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices to the state’s 2010 smoking ban in public indoor spaces, like bars and restaurants. Several other states have bans or restrictions on these devices, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kolste was elected to the Assembly in 2012 and has received most of her individual and PAC contributions from retirees at $9,198 and labor unions at $6,910. Kolste’s largest individual contributors are Alison Kolste, an Allina Health employee in Minneapolis, at $1,150, and three individuals who each gave her $1,000: James Horton and Steve Falk, who work at Mercy Health in Janesville, and Maxine Kolste, an Ogallala, Neb., homemaker.