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New Jersey’s S-298 approved; ban on flavored e-juices looks imminent

Just as vape shop owners were gearing up to battle the deadly FDA e-cig regulations, New Jersey’s attempt to ban e-juices that are not tobacco, clove, or menthol flavors takes a giant leap forward. The state Senate Health Committee approved controversial Bill S-298 even though a massive crowd of pro-vaping protesters was picketing right outside of the chamber doors.   

Of the nine committee members, six agreed to the ban, including the committee chairperson, State Senator Joseph Vitale of District 19.  Sen. Robert Gordon abstained, and only Sens. Diane Allen and Dawn Marie Addiego voted against.  Vitale and his constituents are arguing that many e-liquids are attracting large numbers of teenagers to e-cigs and vaping by focusing on sweet-tasting flavors like bubblegum and cotton candy. 

“The data is clear that teenagers who have never smoked a cigarette are vaping and they’re not vaping because they’re hoping to quit cigarettes. Flavoring is meant to attract them. It’s the same strategy that big tobacco used with cigarettes.”
                                         - Sen. Joseph Vitale


So there you have it.  New Jersey politicians are blaming the e-cig industry for a mythical surge in teenage vaping that doesn’t really exist by alleging that retailers are secretly and purposely naming their e-juices to lure kids to vaping like some sort of vampirical cult. Strangely, this line of thinking seems to be going viral in many of the ultra-conservative circles in America.

The Chicken or the Egg: FDA e-cig regulations vs. NJ’s Bill S-298

This argument is also the basis for the wide-sweeping FDA e-cig regulations that were recently announced on May 5, 2016, which will essentially wipe out the entire vaping industry nationwide within the next two years.  But even if the FDA regulations are modified at some point in the future, either by the Cole-Bishop Amendment or Congressional intervention of some kind, New Jersey vapers will still be left out in the cold if S-298 gets signed into law.


The next step is for the bill to be voted on and approved by both the New Jersey Senate and State Assembly. While this initially sounds like a lengthy process, recent history is proving otherwise.  Anti-vaping legislation is being passed worldwide at a record pace these days, and with little or no advanced warning.   

Should both the state Senate and Assembly approve S-298, then the bill travels to the desk of Trump-lover, Gov. Chris Christie.  He can then sign the bill into law or veto.  Christie is a Republican, and this side of the aisle tends to be more pro-vaping than the Democrats’, but the vaping community doesn’t want to take any chances.  Yesterday’s public protest drew record numbers, and it may not be the last. 



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