The Public Health Committee heard testimony Monday about a proposal to ban flavored vape products in Connecticut. 

Efforts to ban flavored vape products began in February of 2020, but were halted due to government shutdowns at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Proponents revived the ban last year, only to see it fall through the cracks late in the legislative session. 

A group of state lawmakers and health advocates pressed Gov. Ned Lamont in early February to include language banning the sale of flavored vaping products in his proposals to the legislature this year. 

Jessica Liu, a student in public health at Harvard University, testified in favor of the Connecticut ban. 

“Restriction of flavored vapes will lower youth vaping rates and lower youth tobacco use,” she said.

The bill also received nods of approval from organizations such as the Connecticut Children’s Hospital, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the Connecticut Hospital Association. 

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“On a daily basis, caregivers in Connecticut hospitals see firsthand the impact of tobacco-related disease and illness and, because of this, we wholeheartedly endorse common sense public policy initiatives,” the Connecticut Hospital Association said in written testimony.

Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, said that similar proposals have been made in the past, but vape sellers and other organizations testified against the bill. 

The bill received opposition from a few organizations. 

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, CASSA, said in their written testimony that passing this legislation would affect adults making the switch from cigarettes to smoke free alternatives. 

“It is very disappointing that some of the comments the committee will hear on this legislation callously dismiss the experiences of millions of people who quit smoking” Alex Clark, CEO of CASSA said.

Americans for Tax Reform also wrote in their testimony that flavored vape products are essential in keeping youth and adults away from cigarette use. They also mentioned that this bill would impact Connecticut jobs.

“It would kill thousands of jobs and would cost business owners their livelihood. SB 367’s total economic cost would be devastating.” Tim Andrews, Director of Consumer Issues at Americans for Tax Reform, said.