Millett bill to ban e-cigarettes from Maine schools wins unanimous committee approval

Posted: February 21, 2019 | Health and Human Services, Senator Millett

AUGUSTA — A bill submitted by Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, to ban e-cigarettes from Maine schools, was given approval to move forward in the legislative process. LD 152, “An Act To Prohibit the Possession and Use of Electronic Smoking Devices on School Grounds,” received unanimous support from the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday.

“I submitted this bill after a conversation I had with a group of students in my district, who told me they were worried about how many of their classmates are vaping and using e-cigarettes,” said Sen. Millett. “When kids are telling you it’s a problem, you know it’s a big deal.”

Although federal law prohibits selling e-cigarettes to minors, including most school-age children, students can easily purchase e-cigarettes online or acquire them through other means. In 2018, the FDA released a statement saying that e-cigarette use among U.S. teens had reached an epidemic level. Countless studies have found that nicotine is highly addictive; additionally, teenagers are more likely to develop a nicotine addiction because their brains are still developing.

LD 152 includes in the prohibition against tobacco use in elementary or secondary schools the possession of an electronic smoking device, including but not limited to electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic hookahs or vape pens.

The bill now heads to the full state Legislature for voting.