NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Child health advocates and some state lawmakers are pushing again to end the sale of flavored vaping products in Connecticut this year.
They’ve been trying to achieve this for two years, but hope that with a bill that focuses only on flavored vapes, they can ban these products.
Some believe that banning flavored nicotine from e-cigarettes is a way to keep vapes out of reach of children.
“The flavors hook the kids, it’s a simple statement and it’s true,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Northeast Region Director for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
In a virtual meeting Wednesday, educators, doctors and politicians addressed the issue even though the state would lose $2.5 in revenue each year. They think it doesn’t matter.
“We believe the loss of income is well worth the savings we will have to protect our children,” said State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury).
On the other hand, some adults who use the flavors have said that they have been helpful in getting rid of traditional cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are sold in thousands of flavors, from mint and menthol to gummy bear and cotton candy.
Proponents of this bill, however, said the United States was in the midst of a vaping epidemic. Two million kids have tried it, and doctors say 70% of kids who try to quit fail.
“Without flavorings, tobacco products are much less compelling to children,” O’Flaherty said.
The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA), which represents more than a thousand convenience store owners in Connecticut, hopes that doesn’t happen.
“Adults of legal age should be able to make decisions about which products they want to use,” said Christian Herb, president of CEMA. “Now that the state has legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, it seems a bit late to want to ban products that have been used safely by adults for decades. Our members participate in programs to prevention of minors like We Card, to ensure that our young people do not have access to these products.A ban would only drive the sale of these products to the black market where no one cares who buys them.
The United States Office of the Surgeon General says nicotine use by young people in any form, including e-cigarettes, is dangerous. E-cigarettes deliver massive doses of nicotine: for example, each Juul pod delivers as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes.
Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have already banned flavored vaping products. Governor Ned Lamont supports the move to end the sale of flavored vaping products.