There are a couple of new bills floating around the New Jersey Congress that are attempting to ban the sales of flavored e-cigs and e-liquids across the entire state, and Gov. Chris Christie may be the only one who can stop them from becoming law. Both bills are being co-sponsored by Democrats, and Christie is a Republican and long-time political supporter of Donald Trump. Will Christie choose to use the veto if either of the bills land on his desk in the coming days?
Senate Bill 298 is being co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Cody and Sen. Joseph Vitale, and Assembly Bill 3704 is being co-sponsored by Sen. Daniel Benson and Sen. Herb Conaway. The Senate Health Committee has already approved at least one of the bills which means that it heads to go the Congressional floor for a majority vote. Should either bill pass both houses of the New Jersey Congress, the legislation could not become an official law unless Gov. Chris Christie signs the bill.
Chris Christie has vetoed Democratic bills in the past
But Christie is not afraid to use his power of veto, as is evident in a January 2016 decision where he vetoed a bill that would have raised the legal smoking age from 19 to 21. Christie is also an avid supporter and long-time confidant of Donald Trump who has promised repeatedly on the campaign trail to significantly reduce federal regulations across the board.
Both Senate Bill 298 and Assembly Bill 3704 have very similar reasoning behind their proposed flavor bans. Democrats have long blasted vaping as a gateway to smoking, especially among teenagers. The Dems also continuously demonize e-liquids flavors like cotton candy and chocolate as the vaping industry’s lurid attempt to hook American teens on vaping – even though there is no scientific evidence to suggest that this is true.
A former Christie spokesman has recent told reporters just yesterday that the Democrats may be overreaching. Spokesman Kevin Roberts called Senate Bill 298 a "premature move before the science is in." He also stated that "adult smokers do not necessarily want an electronic cigarette that tastes identical to the products" they are trying to quit.
If either bill passes the New Jersey Congress, it will be interesting to see how Christie reacts. Many in the vaping industry have been hopeful that Trump’s unexpected presidential victory last November would result in an immediate repeal of the FDA deeming regulations. However, this has not yet happened.
Are Donald Trump and Chris Christie on the side of the vaping community? Or are they deep in the pocket of Big Tobacco as so many politicians are these days. Only time will tell.