New Jersey draws one step closer to banning sales of almost all flavored electronic cigarettes. Monday, the state Senate’s health committee voted to approve a bill barring anyone from selling vapor products in flavors other than clove, menthol and tobacco. Despite more than an hour of passionate opposition from business owners and customers of the vaping industry, the vote was 6 (yes) to 2 (no). Dozens of supporters protested the bill on the steps of the Statehouse as the committee met Monday. Proponents say e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes and have to ability help people quit smoking. But long-term effect are unknown. Opponents say the variety of flavors attract young people and can lead them towards traditional cigarettes.
The proposed ban (S298), sponsored by the health committee’s chairman, state Senator Joseph Vitale (District 19), comes eight years after New Jersey became the first state to pass a similar ban of flavored cigarettes back in 2008. Kevin Roberts, former spokesman for Governor Chris Christie who now represents Logic Technology (third-largest supplier of e-cigarettes), stated
premature move before the science is in.. Adult smokers do not necessarily want an electronic cigarette that tastes identical to the products.
State Senator Robert Gordon (District 38) stated he’s afraid the state is creating an impediment to a very effective means of helping people stop smoking. However, Corinne Orlando, spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, addressed that studies show flavored e-cigarettes are a gateway to traditional cigarettes. State Sen. Jim Whelan (District 2) stated
Vaping is better than smoking. But we’re looking at high school kids. “I don’t think anyone argue vaping is good for 13- and 14-year-old kids. What do we do about that?”
For the bill to become a law, it now needs to pass the full state Senate and Assembly, and be signed by Christie.
Identical Bill Number: A3704
Noted Bill Dates
- 1/12/2016 – Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
- 5/16/2016 – Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
- 5/16/2016 – Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
Yes (6) No (2) Not Voting (0) Abstains (1)
- Vitale, Joseph F. (C) – Yes
- Madden, Fred H., Jr. (V) – Yes
- Addiego, Dawn Marie – No
- Allen, Diane B. – No
- Codey, Richard J. – Yes
- Gordon, Robert M. – Abstain
- Rice, Ronald L. – Yes
- Singer, Robert W. – Yes
- Whelan, Jim – Yes