It’s likely going to become law. The Vermont House Committee on Human Services advanced a bill last week that would ban selling flavored vaping and other tobacco products, but made changes to address disagreements on whether to include menthol cigarettes.
If passed, the ban would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025. However, the ban on menthol cigarettes would be delayed until July 1, 2025, and the Health Equity Advisory Committee would produce a report on whether the ban is discriminatory and present it to the assembly in the 2025 legislative session, according to media reports.
The bill proposes a ban on selling flavored tobacco products and substitutes, including cigarettes, vapes, cigars, snuff, and chewing tobacco. The bill’s most recent draft defines flavors as any taste or aroma other than that of tobacco, including “fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, maple, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, mint, menthol, wintergreen, herb or spice, or other food or drink.”
There were disagreements over whether the ban supports people of color, who are disproportionately targeted by the marketing of menthol cigarettes, leading to them being more likely to die of tobacco-related diseases. Or, the ban would discriminate against people of color and the LGBTQ community by banning their preferred cigarettes and other menthol tobacco products.