AZ Mirror reports that the vaping industry and health groups are disputing over a Senate bill in the Grand Canyon state.
Senate Bill 1147 wants to raise the age of all tobacco product, vaping and nicotine purchases to 21. The bill also restricts using vaping products at schools, as well as prohibits providing vaping products to anyone underage including through online sales.
This bill was introduced by Representative John Allen, a Phoenix Republican and has the support of large and known vaping and tobacco industry interests and groups. For vaping, the proposal is a trade-off. In exchange for raising the purchasing age to 21, the industry would get a statewide preemption law barring cities, counties and other political subdivisions from imposing their own regulations on vaping and tobacco.
On the other side of the Arizona lawmaking body lies a senator who isn’t thrilled with legislation being proposed. Senator Heather Carter and other opponents of SB1147 view the proposal as a “fig leaf that appears to crack down on the industry, but actually gives it key carve-outs that will allow it to escape other regulations.”
Senator Carter is joined by a swarm of public health groups including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Action Network, American Lung Association, the Arizona School Boards Association and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns who all have concerns surrounding the verbiage of the preemption clause.
The preemption clause has fueled concerns among critics that Allen’s bill will destroy local regulations that dictate where vaping stores can be located, allowing stores to open near schools. Critics are also concerned the bill will lift current restrictions on marketing, as well as bar cities from imposing licensing fees on stores that sell tobacco and vaping products.
There’s definitely a showdown happening in Arizona over vaping. SB1147 has been approved in committee, but has yet to face the full Senate.
Read the full article here.