New Jersey flavored vape ban looms, but a health official thinks it isn't enough

By KYW Newsradio 1060
CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Gov. Phil Murphy has until Tuesday to sign a bill banning flavored vaping products in New Jersey. He likely will. But at least one health official in the state thinks even more needs to be done.

Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez is liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services for Camden County. She understands e-cigarettes are meant to get people to quit smoking regular cigarettes, but believes they're a danger to minors.

"The fact that they flavored them, that to me is very wrong because what it does is it encourages children to get into that," she said. "And what it ends up being is instead of helping people get off of cigarettes, what they're doing is introducing children to a nicotine addiction."

Which is the big reason why this bill was designed in the first place. Rodriguez called the New Jersey ban a start, but also expressed a desire to see more control over that market in order to stop people from getting their flavored products in another state or online.

"I think we need to have an even larger impact," she said. "This is not working for our children. This is a bad thing."

South Jersey vape shop owners who spoke to KYW recently said this ban won't stop kids who want to vape with flavor from doing so. They also denied kids are getting these products at their stores.

When asked if she had a message for all of the vape shops that will be affected by the ban, Rodriguez responded, "I'm more concerned about our children, and the well-being of our children. And honestly, adults shouldn't be doing it either."