Connecticut would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under legislation announced Wednesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The ban was part of a bill, Senate Bill 24, that would also set fines for violations: up to $200 for the first offense, up to $350 for the second within 24 hours, and up to $500 for any further violation within 24 hours of the first offense.
Electronic cigarettes are not currently regulated in Connecticut.
“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 towards achieving long-term reductions in tobacco use and tobacco-related illnesses,” Malloy said in a written 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.”
Last September, state Attorney General George Jepsen and colleagues at 39 other states and territories sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging regulators to classify electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products” and prohibit their sale to minors, state.
“While some marketing claims imply that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking, the fact is that the health effects of e-cigarettes have not been adequately studied,” Jepsen said in a written statement. “Without sound research, we simply do not know whether the chemicals a user is inhaling are safe.”
The letter states: “As you know, e-cigarettes are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine to the user by heating liquid nicotine, derived from tobacco plants, along with flavors and other chemicals, into a vapor that the user inhales. The nicotine found in e-cigarettes is highly addictive, has immediate bio-chemical effects on the brain and body at any dosage, and is toxic in high doses.”
By William Weir, Hartford Courant