TOMS RIVER-Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari joined state Democrat Senate Leader Steven Sweeney to outright ban the sales of vaping products in New Jersey. According to the CDC, this year, 530 people across 38 states have been treated for vaping related illnesses. At least 7 have died.
Wal-Mart has recently announced it will voluntarily stop selling vape products.
Comparatively, according to the CDC, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
While many “vapers” are cigarette converts, Vicari feels the vape industry targets children.
“The popular cigarette alternatives are dangerous and often marketed towards children,” Vicari said. “As a lifelong educator, I see a growing problem with underage vaping in our schools and communities. These electronic cigarettes come in fruit and candy flavors that are obviously targeting our children.”
Vicari said he would support legislation proposed by state Senator Steven Sweeny that would ban outright the sale of vaping products.
“Manufacturers are combining sweet flavors with nicotine in an effort to get young people hooked,” he said. “We need to cut off this problem now.”
Even President Trump has also called for a nationwide ban following the reported deaths, a move some analysts say may put a small dent in his 2020 re-election campaign if he continues pushing it.
The CDC disagrees.
According to the CDC, e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.
While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking, the CDC claims.
“E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products,” the CDC states. “If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start. Additional research can help understand long-term health effects.”
“While the law currently bans the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18, vapes are easily available online,” Vicari said. “This is a growing problem that is only going to get worse if we do not act.”
If banned, over 250 vape shops across the state could go out of business, affecting as many as 1,000 employees on the retail side of the industry, not to mention several large state based vape manufacturers and distributors.
“Lives are at risk. We need to protect our children,” said Vicari.