Lamont veers from vaping leniency

Newly-elected Gov. Ned Lamont made both fiscal and social issues a priority for his administration, choosing to raise Connecticut’s legal vaping age and proposing a “Sin Tax” on vaping products. (vaping360/Flickr Creative Commons)

Newly-elected Gov. Ned Lamont made both fiscal and social issues a priority for his administration, choosing to raise Connecticut’s legal vaping age and proposing a “Sin Tax” on vaping products.

"We're going to raise the age on vaping and e-cigarettes and cigarettes,” Lamont said in an interview with News 8 on Feb. 17, according to News 8’s website.

Second-semester University of Connecticut geoscience major Shane McPadden said that to him, cigarettes are proven to have significant health risks, and should be the issue that takes precedence, without vaping products being grouped in.

“I think it’s kind of counterintuitive to raise the age for vaping,” McPadden said, “It is treating vaping and cigarettes of the same severity… cigarettes will become just as readily available for kids in high school.”

Along with raising the legal age for vaping and cigarettes, Lamont proposes a “Sin Tax.” Under this proposal, vaping products would be taxed at a 75 percent rate, according to the Hartford Courant.

Second-semester communication major Dominick Zampino said that he personally thinks that it is a good idea to raise the vaping age because it will curb future adolescent use, but disagrees with taxing the products.

“There are so many kids these days vaping that just have no idea of the consequences. I used to vape, it wasted so much of my money and time,” Zampino said. “But I was a kid. I think adults have the ability to make their own choices without such a large tax against them.”

Lamont said in his interview with News 8 his main goal is to change people's behaviors, rather than earn money for the state.

"Fifty years ago it would be just a tax on cigarettes. Nicotine products are on the upswing,” Lamont said to News 8 when asked why vaping products are included in the taxation.

Fourth-semester real estate and urban studies major Colvert Winston Moore said that taking preventative measures like raising the age and raising taxes would be better than retroactive measures.

“There is not a lot of research into vaping, we don’t exactly know the effects of it and how we should treat it,” Moore said. “Yet it is better to be precautionary, rather than see so many young kids use something that they don’t know anything about.”


Grace Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.