Apr 22, 2022, 9:34pmUpdated 19m in the past
By: John Craven
Vaping merchandise may very well be lots tougher to seek out in Connecticut below new laws on the state Capitol. The invoice would restrict gross sales to licensed “adults solely” smoke outlets that would solely admit clients 21 years and older. The change would take impact in June of 2023.
The invoice replaces an earlier model that might have banned flavored e-cigarettes however stored tobacco-flavored vapes in 1000’s of grocery shops and gasoline stations. Under the brand new language, licensed smoke outlets may nonetheless inventory flavors.
On Friday, the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee adopted the last-minute change. Co-chair Sen. John Fonfara (D-Hartford) proposed it, arguing an outright ban on flavored vape merchandise may result in a black market.
He and different lawmakers additionally mentioned adults ought to nonetheless have a authorized different to cigarettes.
“You’re saying, ‘OK, we will put cash to attempt to assist folks, however the product that helps folks, we will ban,'” mentioned state Rep. Joe Polletta (R-Watertown).
But others argued that if flavored vape pens keep available on the market — even at restricted retailers – children will discover them.
“It’s about 1 out of 4 highschool college students is now utilizing the vaping, and the attraction to them is, fairly frankly, the flavors,'” mentioned state Rep. Mary Mushinsky (D-Wallingford).
The new invoice additionally removes a to 35 mg/mL cap on the quantity of nicotine in vapes, regarding many lawmakers.
“If you are going to find yourself having extra nicotine than an everyday cigarette in a vaping machine, how does that make it easier to give up?” requested state Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw (D-Avon).
Fonfara’s eleventh-hour modification caught many lawmakers off guard. Twenty finance committee members weren’t even current to vote on it, which might have seemingly modified the result.
“I typically see each side of this, and I actually am torn,” mentioned state Rep. Sean Scanlon, who give up smoking 5 years in the past. “It was the toughest factor I’ve ever completed in my life.”
Scanlon cut up along with his co-chair and voted towards making the change, however later voted to advance the brand new laws to the complete state Senate.
It’s unclear if the vaping invoice will get a ultimate vote. The General Assembly adjourns in lower than two weeks, and related laws has run out of time in earlier years.