Trump Wants to Ban Flavored E-cigs; Sweeney Says He’ll Ban Vaping Entirely
It's the rare occasion when a leading New Jersey Democrat and President Donald Trump are in agreement, but state Senate President Steve Sweeney both say they want to ban flavored vaping products.
Trump called for the FDA on Wednesday to develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco. "People are going to watch what we're saying and parents are going to be a lot tougher with respect to their children," he said.
Sweeney expressed the same concerns in a statement and said he supports S-3265, a bill that would ban the sale or distribution of flavored electronic smoking devices and related products. The bill includes a $250 fine on the first violation, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third.
“The flavored products are targeted at teenagers and young adults with the intent of luring them into addiction," Sweeney said. "We should not allow another generation to get addicted to a product that lowers life expectancy and seriously damages their heart and lungs. Here is a product that we know is seriously harming the health of users, especially our youth.”
The CDC has been investigating 450 reported severe pulmonary diseases in people who've used e-cigarette products in 33 states, including New Jersey, where 19 cases have been investigated as of Sept. 7.
The legislation is the first step toward a ban on the sale of all vaping products in New Jersey, Sweeney said.
“These initiatives could be the first steps towards a total ban on the sale of all vaping products, including e-cigarettes. I will propose a plan to phase out the sale of all vaping products over the next few years.”
Flavored vaping product is also on Gov. Phil Murphy's radar. During an appearance on WBGO's "Ask Governor Murphy," he told a caller that it's a "pervasive, real health challenge, particularly for teens and young folks."
The New Jersey Vapor Rights Coalition says its members abide by the law and do not sell to anyone under the age of 21. Coalition president Danish Iqbal said the cases being investigated by the CDC "are attributable to THC related vapor products, which have been laced with other substances, and not flavored e-liquid containing nicotine which is standard for e-cigarettes."