Millett introduces bill to keep e-cigarettes off school grounds
AUGUSTA — Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, presented a bill that would ban e-cigarettes from school grounds in Maine. LD 152, “An Act To Prohibit the Possession and Use of Electronic Smoking Devices on School Grounds,” received a public hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
“According to the CDC, 3.6 million teens currently use a form of e-cigarette. We cannot afford for Maine students to continue this trend,” said Sen. Millett, who chairs the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. “With this bill, we are setting a precedent that this is not an appropriate behavior for students, which will benefit their well-being.”
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 brain is still developing.
“The proliferation of e-cigarettes has the potential of wiping out the major strides we have made in reducing youth tobacco use rates in Maine if we don’t take measures now to curb their use,” said Hilary Schneider of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
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 faces more action in the committee, and votes before the full Maine House and Senate.mil