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Proposed Bill in Vermont Threatens Electronic Cigarette Users
Vermont House Bill 747 has been introduced and referred to the House Committee on Human Services, but has yet to be added to the agenda. This bill has multiple sections, one of which should be supported.
Section 6, as included below from H747, aims to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. We encourage you to fully support this section of the bill as electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive substance, and should only be used by adults.
Sec. 6. V.S.A. § 1003 is amended to read:
§ 1003. SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS; REQUIREMENTS;
(a) A person shall not sell or provide tobacco products, tobacco substitutes or tobacco paraphernalia to any person younger than 18 years of age.
Section 9 seeks to prohibit the purchase, sale, and delivery of electronic cigarettes via the Internet, mail order, telephone, or any other electronic network. The penalties for each violation are up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 criminal fine, and a $5,000 civil fine.
§ 1010. INTERNET SALES
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Cigarette” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A. § 7702(1).
(2) “Distributor” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A.§ 7702(4).
(3) “Licensed wholesale dealer” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A § 7702(5).
(4) “Little cigars” has the same definition as 1 that found at 32 V.S.A.§ 7702(6).
(5) “Retail dealer” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A. § 7702(10).
(6) “Roll-your-own tobacco” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A § 7702(11).
(7) “Snuff” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A. § 7702(13).
(8) “Tobacco substitute” has the same definition as that found at subdivision 1001(8) of this title.
(b) No person shall cause cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff, or tobacco substitutes, ordered or purchased by mail or through a computer network, telephonic network, or other electronic network, to be shipped to anyone other than a licensed wholesale dealer, distributor, or retail dealer in this state.
(c) No person shall, with knowledge or reason to know of the violation, provide substantial assistance to a person in violation of this section.
(d) A violation of this section is punishable as follows:
(1) A knowing or intentional violation of this section shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
(2) In addition to or in lieu of any other 1 civil or criminal remedy provided by law, upon a determination that a person has violated this section, the attorney general may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 for each violation. For purposes of this subsection, each shipment or transport of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff, or tobacco substitutes shall constitute a separate violation.
It is important that you act upon Vermont House Bill 747. Contact your legislature representatives and tell them you support section 6, but oppose section 9. Explain to them your experiences with electronic cigarettes and the benefits you have found. Educate them on how electronic cigarettes help smokers and keep your right to purchase electronic cigarettes!
You can read the full bill as introduced on the Vermont State Website. (PDF Version linked here.)