Editorial: Don’t let lobbyists blow smoke. Ban…


Back within the first days of this legislative session in Hartford — all of two months in the past — we referred to as for lawmakers to grab a straightforward alternative to protect Connecticut’s kids.

“Connecticut has struggled to put a stop to the sale of flavored vapes due to an outcry from the tobacco industry and conservative charges of violating personal freedoms. Reducing tobacco use has taken decades, but is an American success story. Even tobacco giant Philip Morris International claimed to be striving toward a ‘smoke-free future’ when it moved to Stamford last year,” we wrote.

We hoped this could be a straightforward one. But then, lawmakers have been sluggish to handle the problem. The teenagers who alarmed workers by smuggling vaping units into the classroom when the merchandise launched have since graduated into maturity. Meanwhile, use of e-cigarettes amongst middle-schoolers tripled. For youth, the preferred tobacco product is the e-cigarette.

So lawmakers try once more to ban flavored vapes. Other states have lapped Connecticut in taking such motion, together with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

This has been by means of sufficient cycles that lawmakers know what to anticipate: lobbying from Big Tobacco. They additionally appear to know when to count on it. That the Public Health Committee superior the invoice final month wasn’t a shock. But state Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, co-chairman of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, predicted “intense lobbying” because it falls on his committee’s calendar.

Of course, that wouldn’t matter if lawmakers might resist being swayed by lobbyists.

Opponents of the ban lean on the argument that eradicating flavors is one other impediment for adults attempting to wean off smoking, and demand it will increase the black market.

Those had been factors made by the president of the American Vaping Association throughout testimony, and echoed by state Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, who describes himself as a “vehement anti-smoker” and occurs to be the opposite co-chair of the finance committee.

Connecticut has by no means been a pacesetter on this problem. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids ranks it final amongst states for tobacco prevention spending. Their information, up to date in January, experiences that 11.8 % of adults within the state smoke. Efforts to lower that determine appear at odds with the share of highschool college students who use e-cigarettes: 27 %.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to approve sure e-cigarette merchandise with the reasoning that the profit for adults attempting to interrupt the behavior outweighs the chance to youth.

The FDA is unsuitable. Such reasoning ignores the poisonous solvents in vape merchandise, masked with fake fruit flavors. The elements needs to be a compulsory matter in chemistry lessons.

If Connecticut lawmakers wish to make the appropriate selections concerning flavored vapes, there’s some easy analysis they could take into account doing.

First, speak to the shoppers as an alternative of the sellers. That means consulting dad and mom, educators and youngsters.

Second, buy groceries. Consider the motivation of pitching flavors akin to “Cinnamon Funnel Cake,” “Killer Kustard,” “Strawberry Cheesecake,” “Blueberry Raspberry Lemon Salts,” “Banana Cream Pie,” “Sugar Cookie,” “Fizzy Lemonade,” “Blueberry Cake” …

It’s time to finish this countless checklist to bait kids.

Connecticut lawmakers want to interrupt a nasty behavior as effectively. They are hooked on being swayed by lobbyists.

Like it? Share with your friends!



Your email address will not be published.