Vermont lawmakers are preparing for legislation that would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state.
In January of this year, the American Lung Association rated the U.S. state of Vermont received an overall failing grade for its tobacco control efforts.
“In Vermont, our high school tobacco use rate remains 28.2%,” said Alex Crimmin, the American Lung Association’s specialist for health promotions in Vermont, in a statement.
“The surge in youth vaping combined with the fact that smoking increases the chance of severe COVID-19 symptoms, make it more important than ever for Vermont to implement the proven measures outlined in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” Crimmin added.
Presently, the state legislature is now weighing its options regarding banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and receiving a higher ranking from the association.
The Vermont General Assembly could soon take action on bill S.24. Under this proposal, the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery devices, would be prohibited. According to the proposal’s introductory form, “this bill proposes to ban the retail sale of flavored cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and e-liquids.”
“It would eliminate the existing ban on and [the] penalty for possession of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco paraphernalia by individuals under 21 years of age and expand the applicability of provisions for the seizure and destruction of contraband tobacco products to include contraband e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and tobacco paraphernalia,” the bill notes.
“The bill would also direct the [state] Office of the Attorney General to report on the extent to which Vermont may legally restrict advertising and regulate labels for e-cigarettes and other vaping-related products.”
To simplify, the passage of S.24 could strictly upend the local industry in Vermont.
Current action on the bill is currently held between the Senate Economic Development, and Housing and General Affairs Committee, and the Health and Welfare Committee.
Local trade organizations haven’t been super vocal about the legislation yet.
This is in part do the lack of action on the legislation. However, Vaping Post expects action in the coming months.
“Flavored tobacco is erasing years of gains you have all made here in Vermont,” said Mike Rollo, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, in support of the move to push for a flavored tobacco ban, via local media.
“I worry more about my kid’s future than anything else, and what kind of life are we going to leave for her, what kind of planet? Don’t worry though, the tobacco industry has a kid’s menu.”
This is a developing story.