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Conn. Lawmakers Urged To Consider Tougher E-Cigarette Laws

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Connecticut lawmakers have to make state law comply with a recent Food and Drug Administration ruling on e-cigarettes.

That’s because Connecticut passed its own regulations on e-cigarettes last year, before the FDA made its May ruling that e-cigarettes are tobacco products and have to be held to the same restrictions as regular cigarettes.

The legislature’s Public Health Committee held a hearing in Hartford on Wednesday, where health advocates shared their ideas for new policies to regulate e-cigarettes.  

Jennifer DeWitt, executive director of the Central Naugatuck Valley Regional Action Council, says the state should curb the use and sale of these products, including tobacco, to people under the age of 21.

“Right now, here in Connecticut, 7.2 percent of high school youth between grades 9 and 12 are current e-cigarette users. We have higher use of electronic cigarettes by high school-aged teens right now than all other tobacco products combined.”

Right now the legal smoking age in the state is 18.  

Dewitt also says the legislature should tax these items the same as tobacco products and restrict efforts to market them to minors, such as banning flavors.

Last year, Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting people from smoking e-cigarettes and other vapor products in state buildings, restaurants, schools and other facilities.

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including founding producer of the midday talk show, The Full Story.