Child health advocates want Lamont to ban flavored e-cigarettes this session
Lawmakers and child health advocates on Wednesday urged Gov. Ned Lamont to join surrounding states in banning flavored vaping products popular with teens.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, flavored vapes have fueled an e-cigarette epidemic. About 20% of high school students and 5% of college students use electronic cigarettes.
Kevin O’Flaherty, the campaign’s advocacy director, said the reason teens use e-cigarettes is because they like the flavors.
“It’s critically important that we follow the example of our neighboring states, which have all ended the sale of flavored e-cigarettes within their borders,” O’Flaherty said. “Somehow Connecticut has allowed itself to become an island of youth dependency because we are now the only state in southern New England or the tri-state area that still allows the sale of these products.
Dr. Saud Anwar, a state senator who chairs the committee on children, accused e-cigarette companies of promoting teen addiction in Connecticut.
“One of the most addictive chemicals known to mankind is nicotine,” said lung disease specialist Dr Anwar. “These flavored products and the companies that pushed them, if you look at their marketing data over the last few years, it’s been labeled as criminal. Why? Because they targeted our children.
According to the US Surgeon General, the use of nicotine in any form is dangerous for children. Electronic cigarettes contain high doses of nicotine. For example, a Juul pod contains 20 times more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes.
In 2019, Lamont signed legislation raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 or older.
The governor indicated just last week that he would sign a bill backing a ban on flavored vaping products. But the state legislature failed to pass two previous bills proposed by Lamont.