January 31, 2019

Abrams Announces Bills to Fight Youth Vaping

Today, State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden) announced that she has submitted two new anti-vaping bills to the General Assembly. If enacted, these proposals would ban sales of flavored vapor products and limit vaping products’ online availability to children

“The continued rise of youth vaping poses a great health risk to our children, and as chair of both the Public Health and Children’s Committees, I take seriously the responsibility of protecting our future generations,” said Sen. Abrams. “These bills would be the first steps toward solving this prevalent issue and keeping our children safe.”

The Surgeon General declared an “epidemic” of vaping and e-cigarette use among youth in December 2018. Since 2014, these products have replaced other tobacco products as the most commonly used among American youth. In 2018, more than 3.6 million youth across the United States, including 20 percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle school students, reported using e-cigarettes, according to the Surgeon General.

“An Act Prohibiting The Sale of Flavored Vapor Products,” Senate Bill No. 397, would prohibit sales of flavored vapor products with the stated purpose of addressing youth vaping.

“Tobacco companies have found a new way to make today’s youth tomorrow’s customers,” said Sen. Abrams. “Banning the sale of flavored vapor products will remove this strategy to hook customers at a young age and help fight the youth vaping epidemic.”

Vaping products already contain several chemicals that pose health risks, but flavored vaping products are not only marketed and seen as “kid-friendly,” but they use chemicals in creating those flavors that pose additional health risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“The concern, among youth, is that the availability of e-cigarettes with sweet flavors will facilitate nicotine addiction and simulated smoking behavior—which will lead to the use of conventional smoking products,” the CDC said in a 2016 report.

“An Act Prohibiting The Delivery of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products to Minors,” Senate Bill No. 5975, would require an individual 18 years or older to sign for a package containing e-cigarette or vaping products.

“When all other tobacco products require proof that the buyer is legally allowed to purchase them, online sellers should not be exempt from needing that evidence,” said Sen. Abrams. “This is a common-sense bill that would close a loophole children can exploit to their own detriment.”

About Mary Daugherty Abrams: State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams was first elected in 2018 to represent the thirteenth Senate District which consists of Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall and parts of Middletown and Cheshire. Before being elected to the Senate in her first-ever political race, Abrams taught special education for 25 years before transitioning to administration, where she worked as director of special education and as high school assistant principal.