A state senator is calling for a temporary ban on all vaping products in Connecticut in the wake of multiple illnesses in the state and more than a dozen deaths across the country.
The state senator behind this is also a medical doctor who says until more can be learned about what’s causing these lung issues and death, it’s time to put a pause on vaping in Connecticut.
“We have to realize that we have a vaping epidemic in this country,” said Sen. Saud Anwar, a Democrat who represents the 3rd District.
Anwar says the recent deaths across the country stemming from vaping-related lung illness send a clear signal – using these products is not safe and no one should use them until we know more.
“If there was a medicine or a pill that was contaminated or had a problem or some poison in it and people were dying from it, wouldn’t we take an executive action and stop that right away. So that’s how I look at it,” Anwar said.
In a letter sent to Gov. Ned Lamont Tuesday, Anwar requested executive action establishing a four month ban on selling all vaping products in the state, much like the current short-term ban in Massachusetts.
But that could mean disaster from people who make money on the popular products.
Mohamed Abdul Gaffor works at Hartford Smoke and Vape and said a ban on vaping would shut the business down.
“Most of the stores depend on vape stuff. I think after one week, we’d have to close down,” Gaffor said.
Some non-smokers had a different opinion, saying they’d be glad to see the products gone as long as they continue to cause health issue and addiction.
"Everybody knows its unhealthy. Everybody knows that," Stanley Henderson of Hartford said.
"Banning it to a certain time I think is good for them to do a little bit more research on it," William Sanchez of West Hartford commented.
The request letter to the governor asks for executive action, not legislation, so a decision to support this ban could come immediately.
The governor has not officially responded to the letter, but in a press conference earlier in the day he commented that he did not have the authority to take executive action regarding flavored vaping pods.