Bill advances to ban flavored electronic smoking devices

New Jersey could ban flavored electronic smoking devices.

An Assembly committee advanced a proposed ban on the products Monday. It also approved a bill that would prohibit the use of coupons and promotional offers for tobacco and vapor products.

The bill's co-sponsor, Assemblyman Herb Conway Jr., who is a physician, says the goal is to prevent the products from targeting young people.

Current state law prohibits the sale or distribution of cigarettes that have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco, clove or menthol. However, the law does not prohibit the sale or distribution of electronic smoking devices, cartridges or other components, including liquid refills.

Some business owners say that if the bill passes, it would hurt their business. The owners of Vape Life in Edison say that the sale of flavored products make up 70 percent of their business.

"This has got nothing to do with children. There's an age limit," says Jai Gyorfi. "It's not like a 15-year-old could walk in here and pick up any flavor he likes."

Customers must be at least 19 years old to use vape products in parts of New Jersey. Some towns have increased the age to 21.

Violators would face an initial fine of $250 if the measure becomes law.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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