For the third year in a row, an effort to ban flavored vaping products in Connecticut couldn’t muster enough support.
“We’re incredibly frustrated that the legislature can’t seem to get their priorities in order in a way that would protect kids, the way all of Connecticut’s neighbors already have,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, northeast advocacy director for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. They “continue to support industry and industry profits instead of protecting kids.”
The flavor ban had early momentum in the General Assembly. The Public Health Committee approved the measure in March after hearing hours of testimony, according to CT Mirror.
Connecticut is one of few states in the region that has not adopted a prohibition on flavored e-cigarettes. New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have barred the sale of flavored vaping products. Massachusetts banned all flavored tobacco items, including flavored cigars, cigarettes and vaping goods.
The state has attempted a ban twice before. The proposal was raised in 2020 as part of Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget but was unsuccessful. Lamont had recommended banning flavored vaping products and increasing the tax on all e-cigarette liquids.
Last year, a bill barring the sale of flavored cigarettes, tobacco products and e-cigarettes was watered down and then shelved. A version of the plan was also added to the state budget implementer but was scrapped.
This year’s version only targeted the sale of flavored vaping products (not flavored cigarettes or cigars). But it still ran into opposition. E-cigarette makers, store owners and people who say that vaping is an important alternative for those who are quitting smoking testified against the bill.