Trenton – The tax stamps used for regular cigarettes should be applied to e-cigarettes and other vaping products as a means of removing the counterfeit electronic tobacco products from the market, Senate President Steve Sweeney said today.
Making use of the existing tax stamp program would be an effective means of identifying the illegitimate products that health investigators believe are linked to vaping-related illnesses and deaths and keeping them away from consumers, especially young people.
“There has been a dramatic surge in the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products in an unregulated marketplace where the users don’t know what they are purchasing and what they are inhaling into their lungs,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “All vaping products pose a danger, but the counterfeit substances and black market devices are acutely dangerous. And young people are often drawn to black market sales, putting them at even greater risk.”
E-cigarettes and vaping products were brought to the market without any regulatory process, Senator Sweeney noted, and the policies and procedures for these products are still evolving. At the same time, the use of electronic smoking devices among teens and young adults has surged.
“We have an effective system already in place for verifying the legitimacy of tobacco products, tracking their distribution and validating compliance with whatever regulatory standards are put in place,” said Senator Sweeney. “We should extend the existing tax stamp program to create a uniform policy that covers electronic cigarettes and devices.”
The electronic verification tools already being used could be applied to vaping products and a registry for vaping products could be modeled after the “cigarette directory” regulators already have, Senator Sweeney pointed out.
The stamps are secure, counterfeit resistant and self-adhesive, security features that prevent duplication. They can be used by consumers and law enforcement to confirm the legitimacy of the products.