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Updated: Lawmakers back off online 'vape' sale prohibition

BY Matt Pilon

5/2/2018
House lawmakers don't intend to ban online sales of e-cigarettes after all.

H.B. 5293 had aimed to apply the same face-to-face requirements to the sales of vape products that state law applies to cigarette sales, which would have prohibited online sales as well as sales through vending machines, except in facilities where the retailer can ensure buyers are at least 18 years old.

But a strike-all amendment to the legislation on Wednesday, which lawmakers said represented a compromise with businesses, took an online ban out of the equation.

Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) said the amended bill is aimed only at "the requirement of face-to-face purchases in retail establishments."

The bill previously made it out of the public health and general law committees by votes of 16-10 and 15-0, respectively.

The amended bill passed by a vote of 145-3.

Connecticut law already forbids the sale of vape products to minors. In 2016, Connecticut started requiring vape retailers to register and pay an annual $400 fee.

Editor's note: This story has been updated, following a change to the vape legislation late Wednesday.