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

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.

News 12 Staff

Oct 3, 2019, 9:19 PM

Updated 1,688 days ago

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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.
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.


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