E-Cigarettes

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has put together a 10-member task force charged with making recommendations on how the state can deal with what officials have called the “epidemic” of electronic cigarette use.

The announcement came as the U.S. continues to grapple with a mysterious respiratory illness related to vaping that has sickened at least three people in New Jersey with another 19 cases under investigation by state health officials.

New Jersey lawmakers are weighing a ban on the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes in the state’s more than 2,200 pharmacies.

A proposal floated by Democratic legislators would prohibit the sale of cigarettes and vaping products in pharmacies and any retailers that contain pharmacies, including many grocery stores.

“To have medical services and then sell cigarettes is crazy,” said state Sen. Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex, who is chairman of the Senate’s health committee. “I think it’s not in the public interest — certainly not in the public health interest — to do that.”

New Jersey is eyeing a crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes, which have been associated with a recent string of pulmonary illnesses across the country and are frequently blamed for ensnaring children and young adults into an addictive habit.

During the WBGO's “Ask Governor Murphy” call-in show Wednesday night, a caller asked Gov. Phil Murphy what he thought about Michigan’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

“I like that, I have to say. [My] first reaction is it’s something … we should look at,” Murphy said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone plans to introduce legislation that proposes changes to regulations on tobacco products.

The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco.

“No menthol no flavors, alright.  For everything,” he said.

It would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco across every state.

“New Jersey already raised the smoking age to 21 but this will bring up the rest of the country.”

The bill would direct the FDA to prohibit non face to face sales of all tobacco products.

NJ Considering Ban On Sale Of Flavored E-Cigarettes

Mar 1, 2017
Former smokers say flavored products helped them quit.
Phil Gregory

New Jersey could become the first state to prohibit sales of flavored electronic smoking products.

Assembly Health Committee chairman Herb Conaway is a doctor and he's concerned that flavored products might make smoking more attractive to young people.

"This business of U.S. teens increasing their first use, increasing their experimentation, is what I am trying to deter with this legislation."

Kristy Hartman owns a vape shop in Middlesex. She says most of her customers start vaping to quit smoking and a ban on flavored products could force her to close.