Lawmakers advanced a bill that would ban flavored electronic smoking products in New Jersey. The state Assembly’s health committee voted 7-2 on Monday, February 27 to approve bill A3704, which would ban the sale of vaping devices and products in all flavors other than clove, menthol, and tobacco. Businesses that continue to sell outlawed products would face a fine of $250 for a first violation, $500 for a second offense, and then $1,000 after that.
Advocates say this is a logical extension of the state’s ban on flavored cigarettes, which was enacted in 2008. That bill and the new one aim to limit the attraction of smoking to younger people. According to the American Heart Association, use of electronic cigarettes among students rose 900 percent from 2011 to 2015 – from 1.5 percent to 16 percent. Even more frightening is that 5 percent of middle school students used e-cigarettes.
Critics argue that if the bill passes, it could send adults back to cigarettes. A survey of e-cigarette users by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association found 14 percent would return to cigarettes if flavored liquids were banned.
There is still a long way to go before the bill becomes law. It was advanced by the Assembly health committee but now must go before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Then it will need to pass a full Assembly vote before clearing the state Senate and, finally, the governor. A Senate version of the bill advanced last year but never made it through the Senate budget committee.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in New Jersey, contact the Rosenblum Law Firm for help. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.