The New Jersey state Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee passed several bills today concerning the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes, as well as menthol flavored cigarettes.
This first bill prohibits “the sale, offer for sale, and distribution of electronic smoking devices and related products and cigarettes that have a characterizing flavor.”
As per the bill’s text, a “characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable flavor, taste, or aroma, including, but not limited to, any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, mint, menthol, or spice flavoring, “that is imparted, prior to or during consumption, by an electronic smoking device or any cartridge or other component of the device or other related product, including liquid nicotine, or any smoke or vapor emanating from that device or product.”
“Characterizing flavor” does not mean a naturally occurring flavor that has not been added to during the manufacture or distribution of the electronic smoking device or any cartridge or other component of the device or other related product.
Electronic smoking devices are defined as any device that can be used to deliver any aerosolized or vaporized substance to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, vape pen, or e-hookah.
A retailer who violates the provision of the bill pertaining to electronic smoking devices is to be liable to a civil penalty of a minimum of $500 for the first violation, $750 for the second violation, $1,000 for the third, and for the fourth and each subsequent violation, a fine of at least $1,000 and a three-year suspension of the person’s retail dealer licensee.
The committee also approved a second, related bill to add menthol-and clove-flavored cigarettes to the list of flavored nicotine products that are prohibited from sale and distribution by retailers in New Jersey.
According to current state law, which was enacted in 2008, it is prohibited to to sell or distribute cigarettes with a “characterizing flavor other than tobacco, clove or menthol.”
This bill, which is co-sponsored by Senator Bob Singer (R-Lakewood), updates the current law to reflect the federal ban on clove-flavored cigarettes, which was enacted in 2009, and additionally prohibits sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes.
Singer’s bill is similar to another bill which he sponsored last year.