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Bill advances to ban flavored electronic smoking devices in NJ

Posted: 1:18 PM, Feb 27, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-27 13:18:37-05
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 05:  E-cigarettes are displayed at Gone With the Smoke Vapor Lounge on May 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced new federal regulations on electronic cigarettes that will be the same as traditional tobacco cigarettes and chewing tobacco.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Assembly legislators in New Jersey passed a bill that would prohibit the use of coupons and promotional offers for tobacco and vapor products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey could ban flavored electronic smoking devices.

An Assembly committee on Monday advanced the ban. It also approved a bill that would prohibit the use of coupons and promotional offers for tobacco and vapor products.

The bill’s co-sponsor, Assemblyman Herb Conway Jr., who is a physician, says the goal is to prevent the products from targeting young people.

Current state law prohibits the sale or distribution of cigarettes that have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco, clove or menthol. However, the law does not prohibit the sale or distribution of electronic smoking devices, cartridges or other components, including liquid refills.

Violators would face an initial fine of $250 if the measure becomes law.

Use of e-cigarettes among high school students increased by 900 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to the US Surgeon General’s office. Among teens and young adults up to age 25, flavored e-cigarette use exceeds rates among older adult adults.

In August 2016, the FDA officially restricted sales of e-cigarettes to minors under age 18. Sward said they are pushing for 21 to be the age when purchasing all tobacco products is allowed.