Jersey City – Three members of the Jersey City Council (Joyce Waterman, Denise Ridley, Jermaine Robinson) have introduced legislation that would prohibit the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in an effort to protect Jersey City youth from the harmful products.
Most popular amongst teenagers, the City of Jersey City is quickly moving ahead to implement a local ban, while officials on the federal and state level work on similar legislation to deter underage usage.
“The CDC has stated that the increase number of lung illnesses that have been recently documented is related to the inhalation of vaporized THC and nicotine products in children,” said Councilwoman at Large, Joyce Watterman.
“It is our hope that by placing this ban, our children will be less likely to be enticed into using any electronic smoking devices through the tactic of selling flavors.”
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, one in four high school students uses an e-cigarette. In the last two years, e-cigarette use among high school students skyrocketed by 135 percent. In 2019 alone, nearly 5 million middle school and high school students reported to using e-cigarettes.
“The research on the dangers of vaping and the increase in use by young people is alarming,” said Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley.
“As a member of City Council, I feel it is important to take measures to tackle this issue through legislation in an effort to reduce the number of our children using these products.”
“At a joint meeting with the Jersey City Board of Education and City Hall, the serious health concerns for our students related to vaping was discussed,” said Gerald Lyons, Board of Education.
“I would like to thank Mayor Fulop for taking the lead and quickly moving our conversation into a City Council agenda item restricting the sale of flavored vapes.”
Governor Murphy has called for statewide legislation to prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol, in New Jersey.
The Food and Drug Administration has also taken steps to address this crisis, including announcing plans to restrict where certain flavored e-cigarettes are sold.
“The purpose of this ban specifically targeting the flavored tobacco product is the belief that electronic cigarette companies are targeting young people through candy and fruit-flavored products to lure them into vaping,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
“In line with the Governor’s Task Force findings, we want to do our part starting here in Jersey City to help end this epidemic by banning the sale of these seemingly attractive devices.”
As the electronic cigarettes become more popular, a growing number of studies have found that young people who use them are more likely to become smokers, many of whom would not have otherwise smoked cigarettes.
A 2016 Surgeon General’s report concluded that youth use of nicotine in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe, causes addiction, and can harm the developing adolescent brain.
The Jersey City Public School Department of Student Life and Services, Partner In Prevention will host a town hall meeting on Thursday, November 14 at 6pm to share input on the vaping epidemic and the outbreak of lung injury associated with the use of vaping products.
The town hall meeting will be open to the public and held at Dickinson High School. RSVP to Arthur Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or (201) 915-6582.