Vaping task force releases findings; Murphy calls for ban on e-cig flavors

Posted: Updated:

Gov. Phil Murphy is recommending a ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes as part of the state’s response to a nationwide outbreak in illnesses tied to vaping.

The governor announced the proposal Thursday as part of a public report by a task force he commissioned to study vaping. Murphy commissioned the task force by executive order last month.

“Our overriding conclusion is that electronic smoking devices pose a threat to public health, particularly the health and well-being of our youth,” says acting health commissioner Judith Persichilli, who led the task force.

Persichill says that the bottom line is that vaping and e-cigarettes are addictive and pose a threat to public health, especially in teens and young adults.

“In New Jersey, the median age of those affected is 20 years [old], and our cases range in age from 15 to 51 years [old],” she says.

RELATED: New Jersey health officials report first death linked to vaping 

The task force convened over three weeks and held five meetings, hearing from 200 people to come up with its recommendations.

The recommendations include: a ban on the sale of flavored smoking devices and products, increasing penalties for unauthorized sales, restricting online sales of the devices and products, and prohibiting the advertising of and selling to young people of covert products that allow minors to conceal vaping products, like sweatshirts and backpacks with built-in vapes.

“I want New Jersey not to just react to current events, but use these events to craft thoughtful and solid policies to protect our residents for years to come,” Murphy says.

The governor said that he would take immediate action by executive order. But he also says that some of the recommendations require legislative action – action that he says he hopes will happen soon.

The task force’s report comes several days after health officials announced the first vaping-related death in New Jersey. A northern New Jersey woman who died from a lung disease in August has been linked to vaping, according to officials.

More than 500 illnesses have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which continues to investigate links between lung illness and vaping. Sixteen vaping deaths have been confirmed in the U.S. The CDC said last month its investigation into the outbreak is looking at products containing the marijuana compound THC.

More information about the New Jersey e-cigarette task force’s findings can be viewed at VapeFactsNJ.com.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

  • Just Married in New Jersey

    Just Married in New Jersey

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."