AP NEWS

NJ lawmakers weighing bill to bar flavored vaping products

January 13, 2020 GMT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers were set to vote Monday on legislation that would prohibit flavored vaping products.

Lawmakers proposed the ban, including any fruit or candy among others, to target young people, who they say prefer the flavored e-cigarettes.

The Democrat-led Legislature is taking the issue up during its final meeting of the current session. On Tuesday, a new class of lawmakers will be sworn in, though most are returning members. Democrats will remain in control of the Assembly and Senate.

If the measure doesn’t advance to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk on Monday, legislators would have to reintroduce the bill and pass it again in the new session. Murphy has been supportive of the idea of a flavor ban, but his office didn’t respond when asked how he’ll handle the legislation.

Massachusetts is the only other state with a statewide ban on flavors, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, though eight states have enacted emergency regulations to halt the sale of flavored vaping products. The rules face legal challenges and are in effect in only three states, according to the campaign: Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington.

Republican President Donald Trump’s administration said this month that it would move to prohibit fruit, candy, mint and dessert flavors from small, cartridge-based e-cigarettes. The federal ban, though, lets menthol and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes remain on the market.

The New Jersey measure would bar menthol, but would permit tobacco flavors.