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No action on e-cigarettes likely in special session

Legislative action stalls while new data confirms e-cigs are a problem with Vermont youth.

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The Senate President announced this week its unlikely that a bill that would have created a tax on e-cigarettes will move ahead in the special session due to the Governor's opposition to new taxes.

E-cigarettes are not yet taxed in Vermont. Advocates were hoping for the implementation of a substantial tax on the products as use of the devices has been escalating by Vermont youth, especially of the trending Juuls device which looks like a flash drive.

The new Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows the number of high school students who have tried e-cigarettes jumped from 30 to 34%. 15% used them on a daily basis.

When questioned about their source for e-cigarettes, more than half said they borrowed or got them from someone who was over 18.

With this info in hand, along with passage of legislation in Maine raising the sale age of tobacco to 21, likely passage soon in Massachusetts and a strong vote by Burlington residents urging the legislature to take action, the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont will make tobacco 21 legislation a priority on its policy agenda for the coming session.

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