FREEHOLDER VICARI SUPPORTS STATE BAN ON VAPING
TOMS RIVER – Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari called on state lawmakers to ban vaping, saying the popular cigarette alternatives are dangerous and often marketed towards children.
“As a lifelong educator, I see a growing problem with underage vaping in our schools and communities,” Vicari said. “These electronic cigarettes come in fruit and candy flavors that are obviously targeting our children.”
Vicari said he would support legislation proposed by state Senator Steven Sweeny that would ban outright the sale of vaping products. “Manufacturers are combining sweet flavors with nicotine in an effort to get young people hooked,” he said. “We need to cut off this problem now.”
Talk of banning vaping has increased followed a slew of illnesses and half-a-dozen deaths recently attributed to the devices. “While the law currently bans the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18, vapes are easily available online,” Vicari said. “This is a growing problem that is only going to get worse if we do not act.” The sale of vaping products is a thriving business, with media reports saying there are more than 250 vape shops in New Jersey alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 450 vaping-related illnesses have been reported in 33 states. “Lives are at risk. We need to protect our children,” said Vicari, who served as an elementary school teacher, principal and later Superintendent of the Berkeley Township Schools.
According to Hopkinsmedicine.org, vaping exposes users to nicotine and other potentially hazardous compounds. The website also found that children who likely never would have smoked a traditional cigarette, are becoming hooked on vaping and nicotine. E-cigarettes can also have a much higher concentration of nicotine than tobacco cigarettes. While some have defended vaping as a way for smokers to kick the habit, Vicari questioned the effectiveness of nicotine-laced e-cigarettes.