A bill that would seek to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products in the state of Connecticut cleared its first hurdle earlier this month.
S.B. 326 would outlaw the sale of all flavored tobacco products—including cigars and cigarettes—and vaping products effective Oct. 1. The bill received a 25-8 favorable vote in the Connecticut Senate Public Health Committee earlier this month and will have another hearing on Monday.
It would ban any product that has a characterizing flavor, including menthol, other than that of tobacco.
If passed, Connecticut would join California and Massachusetts as the only states that have banned the sale of flavored tobacco products, though both of those states have laws that allow for flavored tobacco products to be sold under some circumstances. As currently written, S.B. 326 contains no such exemption.
California’s flavored tobacco ban is currently unenforceable due to a ballot referendum where the state’s voters will get to decide the law’s fate. That vote will not take place until November 2022.
S.B. 326 creates a series of fines for those distributors and retailers caught in violation of the law. A first offense would be subject to a $300 fine. If a subsequent violation were to take place within three years of the first infraction the next violation would incur a $750 fine, a third violation would lead to a $1,000 fine and a minimum of a 30-day suspension of the infringed party’s license; a fourth violation would lead to the license being revoked.