Delaware Lawmakers Look to Ban Flavored Vape Products - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Lawmakers Look to Ban Flavored Vape Products

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Flavored vape juice sold at Puffster. Flavored vape juice sold at Puffster.

DOVER, Del.- Delaware lawmakers are crafting legislation to ban flavored vape juice or oil used in e-cigarettes and similar products, a move aimed at cracking down on the devices' usage by minors.

Democratic lawmakers are working on the legislation as federal and state health departments investigate a growing number of illnesses officials have linked to vaping. The cases have mostly involved people who use vaping oil with nicotine and THC and six of the reported incidents have been fatal.

"Right now we're in the process of drafting this legislation to be filed in early January and are open to ideas that really speaks to the idea of...not marketing these products to young people," said Rep. Krista Griffith (D-Fairfax), a co-sponsor of the planned legislation.

Some states have already enacted similar bans or are considering such measures. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an emergency executive order that bars the sale of e-cigarette products flavored with anything other than tobacco or menthol.

A spokesman for Gov. John Carney (D-Delaware) did not indicate a similar action was forthcoming in the First State, but said the governor remains concerned about minors' use of e-cigarettes.

"The Division of Public Health is investigating possible cases of vaping-related illnesses in Delaware, and we are working closely with them to monitor results of that investigation and consider additional options going forward," said Carney spokesman Jon Starkey.

Opponents of the proposed ban have argued it is already for minors to buy vaping products in Delaware and believe further restrictions on e-cigarettes is an overreach.

Sam Chick, owner of the Puffster vape shop on Loockerman Street in Dover, said the potential ban on flavored vape juice sets a bad precedent.

"Today it's flavored vapes," he said. "Tomorrow it's flavored alcohol, hurricane mix, or whatever kind of piña colada cocktail you like. Then, it's flavored sugar water."

Other critics of the idea believe legal adults ought to be able to decide whether they use flavored vaping products are not.

"If I can go to war and fight for my country, why can't I buy cotton candy e-cigarettes," said Raymond Hardey of Dover.

But some believe the planned ban on flavored vaping products is a sensible idea, one that could benefit the public's overall health.

""[Flavored vape juices] might make people think it is a safe product, but it's a nicotine product, and it's addictive," said Rachel Rohm of Dover.

Lawmakers return to finish the 150th General Assembly in January.

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