(WTNH) – A bill to ban flavored vapes has made it out of committee, but with sweeping changes. Lawmakers were set to ban flavored vapes altogether.
Instead, they passed an amendment to limit where the flavored vapes can be sold. Lawmakers now want to only allow flavored vapes to be sold in adult-only stores. They say rather than an all-out ban, this will limit where the products are accessible.
Customers would have to be 21-years-old and would be carded at the door. The owner would have to be licensed to sell the flavored electronic vapes.
Supporters say this will still allow those trying to quit cigarettes an alternative. Opponents fear teens will still be targeted in the black market with candy-like flavors.
“I know people who never smoked in their life and then picked up a vape because it was mango flavored. We are going to pay for those health outcomes,” said State Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw (D – Avon).
“E-cigarettes are the most effective way of quitting and staying off [cigarettes],” said State Rep. Holly Cheeseman (R – East Lyme).
Supporters say this is a good compromise as it cuts off access to thousands of corner stores, grocery stores, and gas stations where flavored vapes are currently sold. The bill would not ban menthol cigarettes and would sunset in two years.
Lawmakers say this will allow them to find out whether it had an effect on lessening the teen vaping issues. The legislation is not expected to come up for a full vote of the General Assembly until next week.