HARRISBURG — Legislation sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) that would make Pennsylvania the next state to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes, e-cigars, JUULs and other related vaping products to minors (House Bill 2226
) unanimously passed the state House today for the second consecutive legislative session.
“In this day and age, it should not be possible for our children to walk into a store and walk out with e-cigarettes and other popular vaping products just as easily as they can purchase a candy bar, chewing gum, or similar-looking flash drives,” said Rapp. “We must learn from previous lessons involving the tobacco industry. Many unscrupulous companies will openly target kids without regard for their health and well-being if a profit can be made. It is even more imperative that the Legislature and the governor act now to keep these products out of our children’s hands by adopting House Bill 2226.”
House Bill 2226 would add nicotine delivery products to the list of tobacco products that are illegal to sell to minors, including electronic cigarettes. It would still be legal to sell e-cigarettes and other vaping products in Pennsylvania – just not to children. The penalties would be the same as under current law for selling cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products to minors.
E-cigarettes, sometimes known as vape pens, are used to deliver nicotine and other substances into the body in the form of a vapor. The products come in a variety of flavors and generally resemble the size and shape of traditional cigarettes, which may increase their appeal to minors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have confirmed that calls to poison centers involving e-cigarettes have surged in recent years.
“Juuling” is the latest craze among teens that is also raising serious health concerns. Named after the vaping device, the JUUL also delivers nicotine and looks like a flash drive. In fact, the product can actually be placed into the USB port of a computer to be charged, making it even easier for young people to conceal their underage smoking.
“Touted as harmless by enthusiasts, medical experts continue to warn about the unproven safety claims of vaping products, especially when it comes to nicotine and other deadly toxins,” said Rapp. “There are also growing concerns that vaping leads to other dangerous experimentation. No matter how you look at this emerging and ever-increasing problem, there is no time like the present for Pennsylvania to become the next to state to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and all other over-the-counter vaping products to minors.”
House Bill 2226 now advances to the state Senate for consideration. Visit RepRapp.com
for the latest legislative updates.
Representative Kathy Rapp
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin