The vaping industry’s push to trade higher age restrictions for looser regulations elsewhere in Arizona law is part of a larger nationwide trend.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that Juul Labs and other vaping industry interests are targeting statehouses around the United States to push “T21” legislation, which raises the age to purchase tobacco and other nicotine products to 21 years. But those bills often come with catches that free the industry from other regulatory burdens.
State preemption is a goal of some of the industry-supported legislation. In states like Arizona and Arkansas, the industry is attaching T21 legislation to preemption laws that ban local governments from imposing their own regulations on vapor products, the Times reported.
Public health advocates say many flavors are targeted toward enticing minors, while the industry argues that flavored e-cigarettes help cigarette smokers switch to vaping.
In other states, the vaping industry has supported T21 bills that include minimal penalties for retailers that sell to minors, or that fine clerks but not store owners for such violations, the Times reported.
According to the Times, Juul has 80 lobbyists in 50 states pushing pre-emption measures and fighting stricter youth vaping enforcement and flavored e-cigarette bans. In Arizona, Juul hired lobbyist Janna Day at the beginning of 2019. Prior to that, the company had never registered a lobbyist here.