The State of New Jersey is another step closer to putting bill S298 / A3704 on the desk of Governor Christie that will ban all e-cigarette flavors except for tobacco, menthol and clove. The ban will include any and all vaping products. That includes disposable e-cigs, refill cartridges and e-liquids. New Jersey has already banned flavored cigarettes and electronic cigarettes may be about to get the same treatment.
CASAA and local vaping rights groups in partnership with the New Jersey vaping community have vehemently opposed this Bill but despite a very vocal opposition the state Assembly’s health committee voted 7-2 in favor of approving the bill. CASAA is keeping the vaping community apprised of any actions that can be taken. A meeting was held today but so far law makers have ignored the concerns of the vaping community and there is no sign that they have any inclination to change their minds.
If this measure is signed by Governor Christie, anyone selling e-liquid flavors in New Jersey would face an initial $250 fine.
Vaping flavors are a favorite target of the anti-vaping crowd. They claim that flavors attract children. By the same token, they are making no effort to ban the sale of flavored alcoholic beverages or other adult products. Vaping is being targeted in spite of a lack of evidence that vaping is a gateway. In fact, there is e-cig survey data that would seem to indicate that e-cig flavors play a role in tobacco reduction.
There are no definitive studies that state anything about quitting smoking with vaping. There is a lot of mounting evidence that is promising in terms of vaping as a safer alternative. One thing we do know, however, is that people who vape prefer flavors. Tobacco and menthol flavors are not among the most popular. More than 50% of vapers prefer fruit, sweet and other flavors. So a flavor ban will hurt vapers and businesses.
A former Christie spokesman now works for Logic Vaporizers and E-Cigarettes is against the rule. Kevin Roberts says that banning flavors could drive New Jersey vapers back to cigarettes. Perhaps the Governor can be swayed to veto this Bill. Watch this space.