Intervention Aroostook: 7.5.2022
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -An effort to curtail and crackdown the sale of flavored tobacco products to youth has hit a hurdle in the state legislature. But activists say its not slowing down their efforts one bit. Shawn Cunningham reports in this week’s Intervention Aroostook.
They’ve won and lost some battles in the fight to outlaw the sale of flavored tobacco products to youth in Maine. But Flavors Hook Kids Maine Executive Director BJ McColiister
says advocates like him will win the war in what he calls a fight to save young lives. The latest effort to ban the sale of the products failed in gettage passage in the most recent session of the Maine legislature.
BJ McCollister Exe. Dir., Flavors Hook Kids Maine
“we came very close to passing a bill in the legislative session and unfortunately we fell short but we have not let that slow us down we are pushing an aggressive local campaign with municipalities and cities across the state trying to end the sale of flavored tobacco products.”
Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP
And the campaign is gaining traction. Already, you can no longer buy flavored tobacco products in Portland or Brunswick. New ordinances banning the sale are in effect. The city of Bangor was actually the first community in Maine to pass a ban, but the city council had to repeal that ordinance due to a procedural error of not providing proper notice to impacted businesses. But McCollister says rest assure that city too is joined in the fight in creating a statewide ban. Still, more work needs to be done. And he says its during these summer months when kids are out of school that advocates like him are working the hardest...
“the end of session was crazy and I think lawmakers were eager to get back to their districts and talk to their voters so we’re going to use this time to make sure they hear from their constituents about why this is such a critical issue...”
He says its critical because of one thing...its a detrimental health hazard to the bodies and lives of young people...
“we hear tragic stories you hear about kids afraid to use their bathroom at school because the vaping products are so prevalent or even kids who started vaping thinking there’s no harm and ultimately becoming hooked and having really negative side effects whether that’s anxiety or poor sleep or inability to focus.”
he says next session, the campaign is working hard to secure enough votes to move the ban process pendulum in their favor...AGAINST the sale of these products to youth. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.
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