A invoice to cease the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise has been carried over from the final legislative session.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A survey performed by the U.S. CDC discovered that greater than 30 p.c of Maine teenagers vape.
Solely 5 states have completely banned flavored tobacco merchandise, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Maine lawmakers are hoping to affix that listing quickly.
“Contemporary out of highschool I really feel prefer it’s type of one thing that is like, unavoidable, to know individuals who have used flavored tobacco merchandise,” Rachel Ellis, 19, mentioned.
She added that she cares concerning the well being and wellbeing of her friends and is aware of lots of people do it as a result of it is “cool.”
“It is the favored factor to do. All people’s doing it, so I believe it is simple to only get swept up in that,” Ellis mentioned.
Maine lawmakers proceed their efforts to ban flavored tobacco merchandise #NEWSCENTERmaine pic.twitter.com/mtqLcsD3s5
— Jackie Mundry (@j_mundry) January 7, 2022
Rep Michele Meyer, D-Eliot, hopes that Maine turns into the subsequent state to ban flavored tobacco merchandise.
“Tobacco kills extra folks than another dependancy, and we all know that is an dependancy of adolescence,” Meyer mentioned.
Within the final legislative session, Meyer proposed An Act To Finish the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Merchandise, however that would go away a $32 million gap in state funds, which Gov. Janet Mills added to the state funds, however legislators did not approve it.
This forces the Legislature to re-address the invoice this session with many Mainers supporting it.
“These flavors are designed to get children hooked on nicotine, and Mainers don’t desire that,” BJ McCollister, an advocate for this invoice, mentioned.
There are, in fact, individuals who oppose this, together with Brett Scott from People who smoke Haven. He mentioned banning menthol cigarettes is one factor, but it surely’s banning vapes that he sees as an issue.
“The half that you simply’re together with vapes in with these bans could be very unlucky as a result of we hear the tales from our shoppers concerning the impacts that flavored vapes have for them,” Scott mentioned.
He added vapes might assist folks give up smoking.
Some cities and cities, like Bangor, have already banned the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise. However finally, will probably be as much as the Legislature to make this a statewide ban.