New Jersey legislators have voted to ban vaping products with flavors other than tobacco. The law covers both pod- and cartridge-based products and bottled e-liquid. The flavor ban bill passed the Senate 22-15, and the Assembly 53-11, according to NewJersey.com.
Multiple bills were passed today. In addition to the flavor ban, the state will double its taxes on vaping products, require adult signature on delivery for online sales, cap nicotine content at two percent (20 mg/ml), and prohibit coupons and price rebates. The state will also increase penalties for sales to those under 21.
The law now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy, who must sign it into law by Jan. 21. Murphy has indicated that he will support the flavor ban.
There is a 90-day delay before the law goes into effect. Advocates say there is a good possibility that a bill could be passed in the next 90 days exempting vape shops from the flavor ban. Enough legislators expressed doubts about the bills’ small business-killing components to possibly swing a majority for a fix to the new laws as they apply to vape shops.
New Jersey becomes the second state to ban flavors. Massachusetts was the first, passing its flavor ban in late November 2019. That same week, New York City also banned flavored products.
New Jersey is the nation’s 11th largest state by population. Between New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York City, and the many municipalities in California with flavor bans, we estimate that more than 25 million Americans now live in areas that prohibit the sales of flavored vaping products.
The flavor ban trend will not end in New Jersey. Lawmakers in major states like New York and California are gearing up for a major push to ban flavors, and others will follow. There is no answer to these challenges except vapers and vaping businesses organizing and responding over and over again. But most vapers don’t understand the political threats they face, and most vape shop owners have not joined state and national trade organizations to fight back.
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