An Ocean County freeholder has found himself in a rare position of agreement with state Sen. Steve Sweeney, pushing for the ban of the sale of vape pens and other “e-cigarrette” type products in New Jersey.
“As a lifelong educator, I see a growing problem with underage vaping in our schools and communities,” Freeholder Joseph Vicari said. “These electronic cigarettes come in fruit and candy flavors that are obviously targeting our children.”
Vicari said he favors an outright ban on the sale of vaping products statewide.
“While the law currently bans the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18, vapes are easily available online,” Vicari said. “This is a growing problem that is only going to get worse if we do not act.”
The sale of vaping products is a thriving business, with media reports saying there are more than 250 vape shops in New Jersey alone.
Opponents of the legislation argue that the government would create a new black market if a total ban were to be implemented. Many have also said the government should not be dictating which products adults can consume legally, and vaporizers can help smokers gradually break their nicotine addiction.
But, ““E-cigarettes have never received Food and Drug Administration approval as devices that help smokers quit,” Vicari said.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week that the state would form a task force to study vaping and its effects. Sweeney has called for a phased-in outright ban on vaping devices and materials. The governor’s task force is expected to render an opinion on potential legislative actions in about three weeks.