TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to impose a permanent ban on flavored vape products. The legislation (S3265) prohibits the sale and distribution of flavored vape products, including menthol. The Legislature passed the bill based on a recommendation from Governor Murphy’s Electric Smoking Device Task Force, which was created by Executive Order No. 84 and directed to formulate a comprehensive strategy to protect New Jerseyans from the hazards of electronic cigarettes.
“As Governor, I am first and foremost charged with protecting the health and safety of our people,” said Governor Murphy. “Research shows that flavored electronic smoking devices and products, such as mint, candy, fruit, and chocolate, are extremely appealing, especially to children. I commend my partners in the Legislature for reacting swiftly to the Task Force’s recommendations to pass legislation that will protect both youth and adults from the hazards of flavored electronic smoking device use.”
Primary sponsors of the legislation include Senators Shirley Turney, Richard Codey, and Joseph Vitale and Assemblymembers Herb Conaway, Jr., Carol Murphy, and Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
“The rapid increase in vaping’s popularity among middle and high schoolers is deeply troubling, especially given their lack of understanding as to what it is they are putting into their bodies,” said Senator Turner. “By banning flavored vaping products, this law will help to discourage our youth from taking up this dangerous habit and reduce its prevalence in our homes and schools.”
“There is no doubt that the tobacco industry have used flavored vaping products as a means of enticing young people to use their products, making them prone to addiction and a lifetime of serious health risks,” said Senator Codey. “The flavors are a marketing ploy to get them hooked at a young age, when they are more susceptible and more vulnerable, physically and socially. We have been successful in bringing down smoking rates for cigarettes, but it took a concerted effort. We now have to do the same for flavored vaping products because the risk to young people is more immediate and just as severe.”
“Our state cannot and will not ignore the widespread use of these harmful nicotine products among adolescents,” said Assemblyman Conaway. “Flavored products are designed to attract young people, which is one of the reasons why most traditional cigarette flavors were banned a decade ago. Getting flavored vaping products off the market will protect our youth. If we don’t, we will have another generation of young people addicted to nicotine when we were so close to reducing widespread dependency on this chemical.”
“The nicotine in e-cigarettes is just as harmful as that of traditional cigarettes, yet many people may not realize just how detrimental nicotine really is for anyone under the age of 25,” said Assemblywoman Murphy. “Nicotine can expose developing brains to negative effects such as addiction, mood disorders and lower impulse control. Many teens are even worried about the damage vaping can do to their health but are too addicted to stop. It’s our responsibility to help them by doing everything in our power to limit the appeal of – and access to – these products going forward.”
“Study after study has shown that flavors such as cotton candy and mango not only draw teens in, but keep them coming back when it comes to electronic cigarettes,” said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle. “Mint is especially popular since the menthol helps ease new users into vaping by cooling their throat and reducing any harshness they would normally feel when inhaling the nicotine. We know what needs to be done to help keep kids safe and that’s what we’re doing with this law.”