WASHINGTON — Leaders at the state’s public health department are asking the General Assembly to ban flavored tobacco and vaping products during the upcoming legislative session.
Barbara Walsh, a program manager at the state’s public health agency, made a recommendation that legislators take up the issue when the session begins Feb. 5. The proposal is backed by Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell, Connecticut’s health commissioner.
“Flavored tobacco products were developed by the tobacco industry as a way to mask the harsh taste of tobacco, and make the product more appealing to children and youth,” Walsh wrote in her recommendation, posted on the state Office of Policy and Management’s website. “Eliminating flavors in all tobacco products, including [e-cigarettes] and vapor devices, will help to prevent additional and future youth initiation.”
On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a ban on flavors in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, with the exception of menthol and tobacco. The ban will also entirely exempt large, tank-based vaping devices, which are primarily sold in vape shops that cater to adult smokers.
Under the new rule, companies that do not halt the sale of fruit and mint flavors within 30 days are at risk of regulatory action by the FDA, the agency said. Retailers are also at risk of regulatory action if their products target kids or if they fail to take adequate measures to prevent access to children.