Public hearing held on bill aimed to stop vaping in Maine

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - There are a number of bills the Legislature is looking at this session that have to deal with vaping.

One such bill was presented Tuesday in Augusta that aims to essentially ban vaping.

"If it were to be enacted, it would stop vaping in the state of Maine," said
the bill's sponsor, Sen. Michael Carpenter, D-Aroostook.

His bill specifically bans the sale of nicotine liquid containers, which are used in vaping devices.

Sen. Michael Carpenter (D) Aroostook
"It's the only product that we allow sold in the state of Maine that when you use it exactly as is directed, we know it will kill people. We know it will harm people. We know that it will cause the people that use it to use substantially more public health dollars than anybody else in our society."

Opponents of the bill say the claim that vaping kills people is not true.

"The bill is essentially a de facto ban on a product that has proven science behind it to be effective as far as smoking cessation," said John Nathan, President of the New England Vapor Technology Association. "There's a false equivalency being drawn that nicotine kills people where that is simply not the fact."

They say it saves lives of smokers.

"Vaping is a way for smokers to get away from cigarettes," said Graham Vinson, President of Empire Vape Shop.

"Smoking kills 480,000 people a year in this country," said Alex Moody, Vice President of the New England Vapor Technology Association. "And the efforts of radical politicians to ban or restrict proven healthier options for those 480,000 Americans dying every year is an absolute miscarriage of justice."

If passed, opponents say it would the most radical law of it's kind in the country.

There was a lot of testimony heard on the bill, and the committee will work on it going forward.