FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- In a bid to help to reduce youth smoking, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has introduced legislation to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and strengthen Connecticut’s anti-smoking laws.
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are not regulated in the state of Connecticut, Malloy said in announcing the legislation at the Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
“Connecticut should join the 27 states that have already prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes and other related devices to minors to continue our progress toward achieving long-term reductions in tobacco use and tobacco-related illnesses,” he said in a statement. “More than 75 percent of young people who have tried e-cigarettes also report smoking conventional cigarettes. This legislation will strengthen our prevention efforts and help reduce tobacco use among young people.”
In addition to banning the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and other vapor products to minors, the bill would also crack down on the sale of "loose cigarettes," introduce a three-tiered fine structure for retailers who violate state tobacco laws, and provide greater investments in tobacco cessation efforts by lifting a moratorium on the activities of the Board of Trustees of the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund in 2016.
The legislation cleared its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday when it was approved in a unanimous vote by the General Assembly’s Committee on Children.
“The governor’s legislation is another step toward ensuring our children and young people have a healthy and bright future,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a statement. “Just as we are making historic investments in education and leading the nation in expanding healthcare, this bill further protects Connecticut’s children and our young people, and will reduce smoking-related healthcare costs across the state.”