New Jersey isn’t far off putting in motion a bill that’ll ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Vaping may soon be illegal in the Garden State.
On Monday, the state Assembly’s health committee met and voted in favor of the bill that’d axe e-cigs, 7-2 with two abstentions, according to NJ.com. The only flavors allowed, if this bill goes through, is tobacco, clove and menthol. This would render all of the other hundreds of flavors currently available to e-cig smokers illegal, and incurring an initial fine of $250 for anyone is caught with one.
“Going back to the days of ‘Joe Camel,’ we’ve seen how nicotine companies carefully market their products to young, impressionable consumers in the hopes of attracting life-long customers,” said Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D), who is a physician.
Conway feels like e-cigs and vaping are a gateway straight to traditional tobacco use because of the artificial flavors.
“The appeal of electronic smoking devices is just as bad, if not worse, because the products are available in almost every candy-like flavor imaginable,” said Conaway. “From a public health perspective, it makes sense to extend the ban on flavored tobacco products to electronic smoking devices, as well.”
The other side of this argument would be to say that e-cigs can be used to wane traditional tobacco users off their smoking products and ultimately quit smoking.
Outside of that, the Assembly passed a bill that’ll stop promotional offers and coupons for purchasing tobacco products.
“Despite bans on marketing tobacco and nicotine products to young people, they are still being exposed to promotional offers,” Conaway said. “Banning discounts and promotions can help eliminate their curiosity and susceptibility to trying nicotine products, and consequently, becoming addicted.”
Will California follow New Jersey’s lead?