TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Vaping and vaccinations took center stage in Trenton Monday. On the last day of the legislative session, lawmakers approved a ban on flavored vaping products, but a bill to end the religious exemption for vaccinations was killed without a vote.
The vaping bill will now head to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for his signature.
BREAKING – Bills to ban flavored vaping products in NJ has now passed both the State Senate and Assembly,, heads to @GovMurphy desk now
— Cleve Bryan CBS3 (@CleveBryan) January 13, 2020
Well over 1,000 demonstrators encircled the New Jersey State House Monday, hoping to see the death of a bill that would take away their right to not vaccinate their children on religious or moral grounds.
“I think babies are born with perfectly healthy bodies, they have developing immune systems and we can’t bombard their immune systems with chemicals. I think it’s a choice parents have to make along with their doctors,” said demonstrator Mary Karl.
At the urging of public health officials, New Jersey lawmakers sought to do away with religious exemptions from school-mandated vaccinations.
Their use has skyrocketed in the last decade and officials worry it’s chipping away at the critical level of vaccination participation needed to stop diseases like measles.
Also causing a stir Monday was a bill that would ban flavored vaping products — another measure aimed at protecting youth.
But one person in the vaping industry says the bill goes too far.
“Our hope is that it doesn’t pass today, if it does pass today, that the Governor would veto it. Because all the vape shops in New Jersey will be closing down, pretty much immediately. We can’t survive without flavors, that’s impossible,” said Maja-Flava Vape Den Owner Maria Egberts.
Murphy has been a strong supporter of putting a ban on flavored vaping products. If he signs the bill, it will go into effect in 90 days.