Update: Statement at the end of the story fromKevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer.
Legislators from both parties have proposed a bill that would add vapor products, such as e-cigarettes, and marijuana to the state’s indoor smoking ban.
One of the bill's sponsors is Republican State Representative Jeff Mursau of Crivitz. Mursau says things change over time...
"...about ten years ago we passed the Clean Air Act for no smoking in public buildings. But things change. E-cigarettes are becoming popular. It's not whether we like them, don't like them or approve or disapprove of them. We're just trying to keep the places smoke free, public places, so people who don't smoke can be assured they would have clean air..."
Though marijuana has not been legalized in Wisconsin, Mursau says the bill would include marijuana should the law change. Mursau says they also want to strengthen laws to make sure all nicotine products are behind the counter. He says the growth of e-cigarettes also is testing the laws...
"..An eye opener for me last year, there was a student that was vaping in a school. Years ago, schools never thought about that in their school policies so we alerted all our schools, to add that to their school policies so students can't 'vape' in school..."
Thirteen states have passed similar laws prohibiting vaping in all areas where cigarette smoking is prohibited. South Dakota became the most recent state after passing legislation last month.
The bill has the support of the American Heart Association, the Wisconsin chapter of the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, and Tobacco Free Kids.
Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer, issued this statement:
“We commend these bipartisan lawmakers for introducing this Tobacco 21 legislation, as we strongly support raising the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 and have been actively supporting legislation to do this at the federal level and in states across the country. JUUL Labs is committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world. To accomplish that goal, we must restrict youth usage of vapor products. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth usage rates. That is why we will continue to work with lawmakers across the country to enact these effective policies.”