October 13, 2015
CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S COMMITTEE TESTIMONY
Re: HB 6283 Act Regulating Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Systems
Rep. Charlie L. Stallworth, 126th District and other distinguished committee members, I want to thank you for this opportunity to address HB 6283. The bill is truly favorable and I would like to express my support of it due to the major merits it brings to the society as a whole, including protection of children from exposure to drugs, regulated framework for the consumption and distribution of electronic nicotine and vapor systems.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Systems have been big contributors to the growth of the business in our area. The majority of people find it appealing to go to certain commercial places such as restaurants that have the permission to sell and to allow the consumption of this specific drug. All this promotes the business that in its turn pays taxes on the profit they make; such contribution is vital to our economy since the taxes are very important for the sustainability of our economy.
Nevertheless, as a representative of the community, I reckon that a few additions were incorporated into the bill, namely a complete restriction of consumption of the above-mentioned substance in correctional facilities, where the use of them equals to freedom. The inmates of these facilities should not enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of the people as they are servicing sentences for crimes committed to the society.
Another crucial inclusion into the bill should be the prohibition of the use of this substance in all forms of public transport, including passenger elevators. Apart from that, I would further recommend the incorporation in the list such places like public sports areas, for example sports stadiums, where in most of the cases, a lot of different people gather together during sports events. These people include children, the elderly people and many others. It is, therefore, good to regulate the access, the use and the distribution of nicotine in such areas to protect the vulnerable groups.
Houses of worship also should not be omitted, as large numbers of people with different backgrounds attend them. It is, therefore, reasonable to prohibit the access to the above mentioned substances in these places so as to protect the people that can be easily affected by the drugs. The procedure should be conducted just as it is with other institutions, schools and health service provider institutions.
Mass media is another very powerful tool that has a diverse audience; therefore, it is by all means a good idea to regulate what kind of content will be communicated to the public by means of advertisements. Adverts that promote the consumption and the distribution of this substance should be thoroughly controlled in order to ensure this information only reaches the intended audience, and to protect those masses that are vulnerable, that is people of all ages, including children.
Most consumers of electronic nicotine and vapor system are taxpayers that follow the rules. It would be unfair to deprive them of the consumption or of access to this commodity universally since it could be viewed as a denial of the right of leisure (Richards & Carbonetti, 2012). Moreover, it could promote illegal consumption and smuggling which will leave the government without the much required taxes and will increase the risk of consumption of commodities that could be hazardous to the general population, since such smuggled commodities would not have to undergone any standardization.
All in all, it is reasonable to make certain restrictions regarding nicotine consumption in many areas as stated in the bill, such as schools in particular or areas that have direct contact with children in general. Yet, it is not always equally wise to introduce stringent measures in areas mostly frequented by adults and the people who can make sober decisions about their lives, like dormitories at public or private higher education institutions. Most of the students in these institutions are mature enough to make decisions about the good and the bad. However, just as it is in other places, there should be sign posts indicating areas where the use of this substances is allowed.
In my support for this bill, there are several points of reference that have a strong interest in the protection of the society. Among them are the clauses that are protecting children, where institutions and public facilities that deal with children have been prohibited from selling these substances. The overall positive effect is ensuring that children are not exposed to the drug abuse and consumption of addictive substances such as nicotine.
By prohibiting the use of the above mentioned substances in public places, the general public is particularly protecting the individuals who could be allergic to cigar smoke or who do not approve or consume this specific substance, as well as prevents them from being exposed to such addictive and harmful drugs. By requiring that smoking zones to be demarcated, the areas conspicuously dedicated for smokers are created, thus nonsubstance consumers are protected.
This act is appropriate not only for Connecticuts health, but also for the Connecticuts bottom line, which is why I urge your support it. Thank you for the attention you payed to this important issue and for your commitment to the health of all Connecticut residents.
- C G A
- Worth What We Decide: A Defense of the Right to Leisure by David L. Richards, Benjamin Carbonetti :: SSRN