A Connecticut legislative panel on public health pushed forward Wednesday with a plan to ban the sale of flavored vaping products in an effort to reduce nicotine use by minors.
According to CT News Junkie, lawmakers have debated for the last two years without passing a proposal that would prohibit the sale of any vaping flavor other than tobacco and increase penalties for businesses caught selling nicotine products to youths.
Wednesday’s 19 to 12 vote found members of the committee split on the issue. Several lawmakers voiced concern that banning flavored vaping products could have the unintended consequence of leading nicotine consumers to more harmful combustible products like cigarettes.
Rep. Jamie Foster pointed to testimony from Yale professor Dr. Abigail Friedman suggesting the policy could increase tobacco use by minors and reduce smoking cessation by adults.
“It would be easier and significantly more comfortable to me to align with the advocates who want children to not have access to tobacco,” Foster said. “It would be easier if we could just say ‘E-cigarettes are evil’ and ban them. I wish we could. I wish the science supported that but it doesn’t.”