State lawmakers discuss e-cigarettes ban

Published: Feb. 5, 2020 at 6:51 PM EST
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The sale of e-cigarettes in Maine is once again in the balance.

A public hearing was held at the State House Wednesday to discuss legislation that, if approved, could restrict access to the nicotine products.

The proposed bill would prohibit the sale of vaping products until the FDA approves them as smoking cessation devices.

It would also require folks to get a prescription from a doctor for an approved device.

Bill sponsor Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, says it's an issue of health risk.

"I would say our efforts to keep them out of the hands of youth are anemic at best,' said Millett. "They're getting a hold of them and they are engaging in using the devices. And it's scary, and they are scared by it. They are surprised by how quickly they become addicted, how quickly it impacts their health."

Opponents say more regulation would take away the rights of Mainers.

"I know so many Maine people who have been addicted to cigarettes and tobacco products who used vaping products to break the grip of that addiction," said Eric Brakey, former State Senator and current U.S. House candidate for CD2. "It's an effective harm-reduction tool for so many people. It would be a tragic mistake to ban that and take it away.">

The bill faces further work in the Health and Human Services Committee before it goes up for a vote.