MONTPELIER – Last month, the State of Vermont received a failing grade from the American Lung Association when it came to the sale of flavored tobacco products, and now the Legislature is working to correct the course with a bill to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes, e-cigs, and e-liquids.
In recent years, e-cigarette use has skyrocketed among Vermont teens.
The Vermont Department of Health’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey found 12-percent of high school students used them in 2017, but their most recent data shows that’s up to 26 percent.
“Flavored tobacco is erasing years of gains you have all made here in Vermont,” said Mike Rollo, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “I worry more about my kid’s future than anything else and what kind of life are we going to leave for her, what kind of planet? Don’t worry though, the tobacco industry has a kid’s menu.”
In 2019, the Legislature passed a bill that put a 92 percent tax on e-cigarettes. That’s also when they raised the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.