Published: Jan 25, 2011 10:08 PM EST
Updated: Jan 25, 2011 7:09 PM EST

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A key New York Assembly committee has advanced a bill that could make the state the first to ban electronic cigarettes.

The devices advertised heavily on the Internet promise all the pleasures of smoking without the deadly health threat.

Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried says the legislation passed Tuesday is a public health measure. It would ban e-cigarettes in New York until the federal government decides how to regulate their use.

Currently, children can buy the plastic devices, which contain nicotine and aren't covered by indoor smoking bans.

 Health officials say e-cigarettes are just another addictive habit, one that can hook kids early. But advocates say it helps people cut down or quit smoking tobacco.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)