ASSEMBLY HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY, Nos. 4227 and 4228

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  NOVEMBER 23, 2009

 

      The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee reports favorably an Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bills Nos. 4227 and 4228.

      This committee substitute prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in indoor public places and workplaces, and also prohibits their sale or distribution to minors.

      The substitute provides specifically as follows:

·   The substitute extends the provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act,” P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-55 et seq.), which generally prohibits the smoking of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked in indoor public places and workplaces, to apply to the use of electronic smoking devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, in the same places.

·   The substitute defines “electronic smoking device” to mean an electronic device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, or pipe.

·   The penalties that currently apply to a person who smokes tobacco in an indoor public place or workplace would apply to a person who uses an e-cigarette in violation of this substitute (a fine of not less than $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense).

·   The prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in indoor public places and workplaces takes effect on the 180th day after enactment, but the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services is authorized to take anticipatory administrative action in advance as necessary for implementation.

·   In addition, the substitute extends the current statutory prohibition on the sale or distribution of tobacco products to persons under 19 years of age to apply to electronic smoking devices.  A person who violates this prohibition would be subject to the existing statutory civil and criminal penalties for the sale or distribution of tobacco products to minors, as follows:

      --  The criminal penalties are a fine as provided for a petty disorderly persons offense ($500) for a first offense and a fine of twice that amount for a subsequent offense.

      --  The civil penalties are not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation; and possible suspension, or (after a second or subsequent violation) revocation of the license of a retail dealer issued under section 202 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-4).

      --  A civil penalty imposed would be in addition to any criminal penalty that may be imposed and vice versa.

·   The prohibition on the  sale or distribution to minors takes effect on the 60th day after enactment.