NJ: Bill to ban pharmacies from selling tobacco and e-cigarettes moves forward

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A state Senate committee Tuesday gave the initial endorsement to a bill banning pharmacies from selling tobacco and e-cigarette products.

The bill, S992, was amended Tuesday by the Senate health committee to include retailers that contain pharmacies, such as CVS, Rite Aid, supermarkets and other retailers.

The bill was initially introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee in January of ’18 but was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee yesterday.

Last week, the New Jersey Department of Health launched a page about the risks of vaping and e-cigs

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine (the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products), flavorings, and other chemicals to help make the aerosol. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs. Bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales into the air. E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes.

They are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems.” Using an e-cigarette is sometimes called “vaping” or “JUULing.”

“Pharmacies are now offering health services and retail clinics throughout the country and throughout the state of New Jersey, and so patients are receiving health services and we feel that it’s contradictory to sell tobacco products in the same setting where people are receiving health services,” said Corinne Orlando, director of government relations for the New Jersey Food Council.

Pharmacies that violate the proposed prohibition could be fined $250 for a first violation, $500 for a second violation and $1,000 for subsequent violations.

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