NJ Lawmaker Looks To Create Federal Vaping Regulations

Steve Burns
October 21, 2019 - 2:30 pm

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TENTON (WCBS 880) — As more and more states continue to enact rules around e-cigarettes, one New Jersey congressman is looking to take those regulations to a national level.

In total, 33 people in 24 states – including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – have died from a mysterious vaping-related illness that has also sickened over 1,500 people nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It is at epidemic portions, I mean there's no question of that because of the dramatic increase in number of illnesses and deaths related to vaping,” said New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone.

The Democratic representative is working on a bill to tighten the market across the country, including raising the minimum age for buying any tobacco products to 21, only allowing in person sales and banning flavored tobacco products.

“Studies clearly show that the flavored choices like mint, candy, fruit or chocolate draw the interest of teens in middle school and high school,” he notes.

New Jersey lawmakers are already considering a ban on all flavored vaping products.

Recently, a New York state panel approved an emergency ban on all flavors, but the rule was blocked in court.

Vaping advocates say the vaping-related illnesses stem from individuals using black market products, including products containing THC – the chemical that gives marijuana its high.

While the vaping industry has also said it did not intentionally market products to children, multiple lawsuits have been filed against companies, like Juul, and vendors over sales to minors.

Facing political backlash, Juul last week announced it will no longer sell fruity and dessert flavored products to deter children and teenagers from using the product.