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New bill would ban flavored tobacco product sales statewide

Vaping Flavors
Mary Altaffer
This Jan. 2, 2020, file photo shows flavored vaping liquids and devices on display at the VapeNY.com store in New York. New York lawmakers could ban flavored tobacco products including vape pens and menthol cigarettes amid growing concern over the tobacco industry's use of flavorings to attract young people and African-Americans. A spokesman said Monday, Jan. 13 that the Democratic Senate Majority plans to pass a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and prohibition on smokeless flavored tobacco products as soon as the following week.

Portland Democratic State Sen. Jill Duson has submitted a bill to end the sale of flavored tobacco products across Maine.

Officials in Portland, South Portland, Bangor and Brunswick have already voted to ban the products within their own communities.

In a release, Duson says that the measure is about, "ending the sale of products that are marketed toward - and directly impact - youth." She says the ban will protect children from products that can lead to addictive, harmful habits.

While many health and education groups have supported cities' flavored tobacco bans, some local businesses and stores have pushed back, saying that a ban would hurt sales and wouldn't meaningfully affect tobacco usage.