New Jersey currently has a law on the books that bans the sale of combustible tobacco products in any flavor other than convention tobacco, menthol, or clove. Now, state legislators are trying to extend this ban to flavored vapes, e-cigs, and e-liquids.
In a 7-2 vote with two officials abstaining, the State Assembly Health Committee voted to approve the bills and send them to the House and Senate floors for a full vote. Both the New Jersey Senate and the House of Representatives would have to approve the bills with a majority vote, and if successful, they would then head to the desk of Governor Chris Christie for a final signature. The question is: Would the Republican Governor and BFF of Donald Trump sign either of the bills into law?
Senate Bill 398 and Assembly Bill 3704
There are two different bills on the table, and each is co-sponsored by politicians of the Democratic Party. The first is named Senate Bill 298 co-sponsored by Sen. Joseph Vitale of Middlesex and Sen. Richard Cody of Essex and Morris. The second is Assembly Bill 3704 co-sponsored by Sen. Herb Conaway of Burlington and Sen. Daniel Benson of Mercer and Middlesex.
(Related Article: NEW JERSEY’S S-298 APPROVED; BAN ON FLAVORED E-JUICES LOOKS IMMINENT)
Both bills are attempting to do essentially the same thing – ban the sale of flavored vaping products, But one was sponsored in the Senate and the other started in the House. This gives the Democrats two chances to achieve the same desired objective.
The two pieces of legislation also seem to give the same basic reason for their proposed bans. Democrats consistently love to use the unproven argument that flavored e-liquids tend to lure young teenagers into the depths of smoking addiction, an argument that is simply not based in scientific fact.
Chris Christie and his history of vetoes
A former spokesman for Christ Christie issued a brief statement yesterday which seems to indicate that the Governor may decide to veto either or both of the bills should they pass Congress.
Spokesman Kevin Roberts called the measures a "premature move before the science is in." He also added that "adult smokers do not necessarily want an electronic cigarette that tastes identical to the products" they are trying to quit.
(Related Article: FDA SHOULD ‘BUTT OUT’ OF VAPING REGULATIONS, SAYS STEVE FORBES)
In late 2015, New Jersey politicians tried unsuccessfully to raise the legal smoking age from 19 to 21. Bill A3254 was created, and it made its way through the New Jersey Congress. Both the Senate and the House passed the proposal, and it landed squarely on the desk of Trump BFF Chris Christie. He vetoed it immediately, and the legal smoking age in New Jersey remains intact at 19.
Christie may be the only person standing in the way of an all-out vaping ban on flavored e-liquids in New Jersey in the very near future. And his actions regarding this political hot-potato may also be an indication of where Trump’s true loyalties lie. Are Trump and Christie Pro-Big Tobacco? Or are they Anti-Federal Regulations as Trump so often claims to be?