Lawmakers advanced a proposal to ban flavored vaping products. Permits menthol-flavored cigarettes.
HARTFORD, Ct. — Lawmakers in Connecticut decided to advance and move forward legislation with the proposal to ban flavored vape products within the limits of the state.
According to the Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding, lawmakers voted to advance a heavily amended version of Senate Bill (SB) 326.
Substitute Senate Bill 326, according to the legislative Office of Fiscal Analysis, is an “act prohibiting the sale of flavored cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, and vapor products.”
Under the proposed bill, Connecticut would join New York state, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island in banning flavored tobacco and nicotine products starting January 1, 2022. California also adopted a similar ban, which is temporarily on hold.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has proposed a nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes that is currently under public review.
Substitute Senate Bill 326 doesn’t include a ban on menthols, though.
“I believe we should be doing everything we can to make sure that other young people in Connecticut are not making the same mistake that I and other smokers did as young people by getting hooked on these products,” said Rep. Sean Scanlon, a Democrat, via local coverage from Nexstar Media Group’s News 8 affiliate in New Haven.
“We have been working over the weekend to try to get the place we’re at today on this bill,” said Scanlon in other news reporting from the region.
Bill sponsors announced that the compromise legislation would revert to what the governor wants to be implemented in his budget from earlier this year.
Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont announced his intention to outlaw flavored electronic cigarettes and tobacco products earlier this year.
But, the measure is lacking to cover a menthol ban.
“Ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes is the best way that Connecticut can address youth usage of e-cigarettes, which has been designated an epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General, and we applaud the committee for taking this important step,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, director of advocacy for the Northeast region of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Republicans have also supported the bill in what is being sold as a bipartisan win for tobacco control.