NEW JERSEY– Lawmakers on Monday approved a bill that would ban the sale and distribution of flavored electronic smoking devices and related products. The bill passed in both the Senate and State Assembly, and now heads to Governor Phil Murphy to either sign or veto.
This bill prohibits the sale, offer for sale, and distribution of electronic smoking devices and related products that have a “characterizing flavor.” As used in the substitute, “characterizing flavor” means the electronic smoking device or related product, or any smoke or vapor emanating from that device or product, imparts a distinguishable flavor, taste, or aroma prior to or during consumption, including, but not limited to, any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, or spice flavoring; or the electronic smoking device or related product is advertised or marketed as having or producing any such flavor, taste, or aroma.
A person who violates the prohibition established under the substitute bill will be liable for a civil penalty of not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation.
“Today’s vote is an important step forward and we applaud Assembly member Conaway and Senator Vitale for their efforts to protect public health. With the federal government failing in efforts to remove flavored tobacco products from the market, it is imperative for states to act. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, nationwide, more than one in four high school students are using e-cigarettes, and multiple studies report that flavors are driving youth addiction,” American Lung Association National Assistant Vice President, State Public Policy, Michael Seilback said.
“If we are to end the vaping epidemic once and for all, then today’s action is not enough: we must remove all flavored tobacco products from the market. We urge Governor Murphy to work with legislative leaders to pass comprehensive flavored tobacco legislation this year,” Seilback said.