ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Juice barred

A ban on flavored juices for e-cigarettes could be happening. A North Dakota House of Representatives bill proposes to "prohibit the sale of flavored e-liquid and to provide a penalty." The bill, HB-1477, was introduced in the Legislature by Sen....

Vapes employee Austin Armstrong tidies the store's selection of 250-plus flavors of vape e-liquids. The state Legislature is considering a ban on the sale and manufacture of all e-liquids. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
Vapes employee Austin Armstrong tidies the store's selection of 250-plus flavors of vape e-liquids. The state Legislature is considering a ban on the sale and manufacture of all e-liquids. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

A ban on flavored juices for e-cigarettes could be happening.

A North Dakota House of Representatives bill proposes to "prohibit the sale of flavored e-liquid and to provide a penalty."

The bill, HB-1477, was introduced in the Legislature by Sen. Judy Lee (District 37, West Fargo) and Rep. Alisa Mitskog (District 25, Wahpeton).

It had its first reading on Jan. 14 and was referred to the Human Services Committee, where it was considered Tuesday.

Any person who violates the ban would be subject to a fine of $100 for each individual package sold or offered for sale.

ADVERTISEMENT

The manufacture of flavored vape juices would also be banned in North Dakota.

A manufacturer who violates the ban would be subject to $10,000 for each brand or style sold or offered for sale.

The ban specifically targets flavored e-liquids composed of "nicotine and other chemicals" and that have a "natural or artificial constituent or additive that causes the e-liquid or its vapor to have a characterizing flavor" such as chocolate, fruit or spice.

The bill does not mention flavored e-juices that do not contain nicotine.

Four stores in Dickinson sell e-cigarette products: Vapes, Guru Vape Shop, Quick Vape Vapor Outlet, and Mrs. Blankenship's House of Vapes.

Brad Coleman, owner of Vapes, on Villard Street, spoke against the bill.

"It's going to directly affect a lot of smokers who are getting off of cigarettes," he said.

The bill, if passed, would badly affect Coleman's business.

ADVERTISEMENT

"That would pretty much shut my business down," he said. "We're getting off nasty-flavored cigarettes, not back on to them. It doesn't even make sense."

The North Dakota Department of Health released a statement in September on vaping that states awareness and usage of electronic nicotine delivery systems has increased, "especially among young people."

Each vape product store in Dickinson, including Coleman's, has clear signs stating that the business does not allow entrance to or sell to anyone under 18.

Coleman does not deny, though, that vaping could be increasing in popularity among youths.

"It's probably accurate," he said, "but no more so than any other industry that has anything remotely appealing to children."

Coleman dismisses the idea that a ban is the best way to protect youths from the product.

"I was a minor and I got into cigarettes long before I should have," he said. "At the end of the day, you can't lock the rest of the world to try to prevent children from doing what they want to do. That's a parent's job."

North Dakota voters approved a statewide partial smoking ban in 2012, prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment, including bars and restaurants, with those same restrictions applying to e-cigarettes, as well.

What To Read Next
Neil Joseph Pfeifer was released Friday, Feb. 3, on $5,000 cash bail.
State lawmakers hear from both sides as parents and educators weigh in on the potential impact of the bill
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
Stark County prosecutors prepare for pretrial conferences and jury trials scheduled for March