Call to action: Vermont Considers Bill Banning E-Cig Purchases over the Internet
Date Posted: March 2, 2012
Electronic cigarettes are facing another legal challenge at the state level. This time the Vermont legislature is considering a bill that would ban the purchase, sales and delivery of e-cigarettes via the internet, phone and mail order, with penalties for each violation of up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 criminal fine and a $5,000 civil fine.
AN ACT RELATING TO CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS, H 747, has been introduced and referred to the House Committee on Human Services. It has yet to be added to the Committee Agenda. Once it has been scheduled, e-cig supporters are strongly encouraged to contact state lawmakers and urge them to vote against this provision in the bill.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is urging local users to contact the legislators on the committee and argue three important points.
First, e-cig users and advocates should express support for Section 6 of the bill (H 747) because it would ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors, but “please urge legislators to remove Section 9 from the bill because it would prohibit the purchase, sale and delivery of e-cigarettes via the Internet, mail order telephone or other electronic network, with penalties for each violation of up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 criminal fine and a $5,000 civil fine.”
Second, CASAA wants you to tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life and how the elimination of online access to electronic cigarette supplies would negatively affect you. Tell them that by switching to a smokefree product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
And third, tell lawmakers that banning the sale of electronic cigarettes via the internet does not follow the spirit of the existing law that prohibits the purchase, sales and delivery via the Internet of cigarettes and several other tobacco products, according to CASAA.
Just this month, e-cig supporters helped defeat a provision in a bill in the Hawaii legislature that would have applied a 70 percent tobacco tax on e-cigs. More than 1,000 people and companies protested the provision and it failed to pass. There is strength in numbers and together we can stop these state legislatures from curtailing or banning e-cig use and sales.