TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Lawmakers in New Jersey are getting to work to further regulate vaping in the Garden State. Recommendations were released on Thursday by the vaping task force set up by Gov. Phil Murphy.
One of the recommendations is banning flavored e-cigarettes. Murphy says they are marketing specifically to minors but those in the industry say they’re going to be put out of business.
Alicia Pizza is fighting for her business and her industry. She owns The Vape Shop in Hamilton Township and says if regulations proposed by the governor were implemented, she’ll lose everything.
“We would probably go out of business or have to move to a different industry,” Pizza says.
On Thursday, Gov. Murphy announced new proposed regulations on the vaping industry that came from the New Jersey vaping task force.
“I want New Jersey to not just react to current events but to use these events to craft thoughtful and solid policies that will protect our residents for years to come,” Murphy said.
The task force was formed three weeks ago and in a series of public hearings, they interviewed 200 people.
Among the recommendations are restricting online sales, increasing penalties for stores that sell to minors, creating a registry for vaping retailers and banning all flavored vaping products, including menthol.
“So often in government we’re a day late and a dollar short, but we cannot wait any longer,” state Sen. Shirley Turner said.
The task force released their recommendations just days after New Jersey’s first vaping-related death was reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 800 people have been hospitalized nationwide and 16 people have died as a result of vaping.
“From a public health perspective, the bottom line remains the same—nicotine is a chemical considered as addictive as heroin and cocaine and is harmful in any form,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.
One of the major reasons for these regulations is the safety of young people.