Ban on sale of flavored vaping products gains new momentum in CT

The campaign to ban the sale of flavored vaping products in Connecticut is gaining momentum with a group of Democratic lawmakers expected to voice their support, joined by health advocates, at an online press conference on Wednesday .

State Sens Julie Kushner, Saud Anwar, Jorge Cabrera and James Maroney, and State Representatives Corey Paris and Jill Barry — all Democrats — will push for the ban at Wednesday’s press conference and highlight how Connecticut is one of the few northeastern states to continue to allow the sale of flavored vaping products. An increase in vaping among teens has led many states to ban the sale of these products within their borders.

The lawmakers will be joined by Kevin O’Flaherty, advocacy director for Connecticut Campaign Tobacco-Free Kids, Dr. Melanie S. Collins, director of the Cardiopulmonary Testing Laboratory at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association. public school superintendents.

The push follows comments last week from Governor Ned Lamont who said he would support the ban, which he has proposed in previous budgets. Tobacco control advocates wanted the governor to include the proposal in his medium-term budget plan, which will be released Feb. 9, but Lamont said he would likely leave it to lawmakers to introduce a bill that he would then support.

“This time, I would like to work with the legislature to see if they will intervene. I will sign it,” the governor said last week.

Lamont was pressed for his support at press conferences last year announcing the move of tobacco giant Phillip Morris’ headquarters to Connecticut. The governor said at the time that the move would not interfere with his public health goals.

Efforts to impose a ban on all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, failed to gain traction in the legislature last year after nonpartisan budget analysts said that it would cost the state nearly $200 million in tax revenue over a two-year period.

Instead, lawmakers moved forward with a ban on flavored vaping, but that proposal was eventually watered down to the point where Tobacco Free Kids, the main advocate, asked Democrats to remove it from the “implementation” bill. implementation” of the massive budget that legislators pass at the end of each spring session.

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