Gov. Phil Murphy ordered a new electronic-cigarette task force to come up with recommendations for ways his administration and the Legislature can protect residents, especially teens, from the dangers of vaping. The task force is expected to make its recommendations by Oct. 3, Murphy said at a news conference Thursday.
“If products that come with risks of addiction and other serious health problems are sold at all, they should never be marketed in ways that appeal to children. We share Governor Murphy’s commitment to responding forcefully to protect the health of New Jersey kids,” Grewal said in a statement.
E-cigarettes are marketed as a smoking cessation aid that is less harmful than combustible cigarettes because the vapor released does not contain the same cancer-causing carcinogens as burning tobacco.
“Harm is not wholly defined by cancer risk. … This episode is really opening our eyes to that notion, that [e-cigarettes] can have their own intrinsic risk profile that looks nothing like cigarettes,” Frank T. Leone, director of Penn Medicine’s comprehensive smoking treatment programs, told The Inquirer in August, as the number of cases continued to climb.
The proposed federal ban applies only to nicotine e-cigarettes. The FDA is expected to develop a plan to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market, which would be permitted to be sold again only if they receive approval from the FDA.
“The federal government has failed,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Herbert C. Conaway Jr., a Democrat and physician, who spoke during Murphy’s news conference. “We’re not going to fail here to do what we need to do. Right now these products sit in a regulatory dead zone and we need to change that.”
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