A revised bill seeking to ban the sale of flavored vapes in Guam has a new hearing date set for February 2nd, 2024.
Original Hearing Delayed Due to Lengthy Legislative Session
Bill 50-37, the original flavored vapor product ban legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Fisher, was scheduled for a public hearing on January 4th. However, after a preceding legislative hearing ran over 5 hours, the vaping bill hearing was delayed until 7 PM. By that time, many members of the public who had waited for hours to testify had already left.
Senator Fisher was then directed by the committee chairwoman to withdraw and revise the bill. This decision was not announced to the public still waiting to be heard. The withdrawal and reintroduction occurred quickly on January 4th and 5th.
Revised Ban Bill Incorporates Suggestions from Advocates
The revised legislation, now numbered as Bill 229-37, includes recommendations from the American Cancer Society to strengthen the proposed flavor ban.
Senator Fisher expressed frustration over the lack of clarity around the first hearing's delay and cancellation. He emphasized the importance of public participation in legislative matters.
Hearing Set for February 2nd Morning Session
With a new bill filed, Senator Fisher has confirmed that the flavored vapor ban public hearing will take place on February 2nd, 2024 at 9 AM at the Guam Congress Building.
The Senator urges supporters and opponents alike to attend the hearing to make their voices heard. Public engagement remains vital to the process of passing impactful legislation.
Debate Continues Around Risks of Flavored Nicotine Products
Bill 229-37 aims to prohibit the sale of vaping liquids with fruit, dessert, candy, and other youth-appealing flavors. However, legal access to tobacco and menthol-flavored products would remain if passed into law.
Proponents argue such legislation can reduce vaping rates among teenagers. Flavored options help attract underage users to try and continue using e-cigarettes. National data shows over 2 million high school and middle school students currently use e-cigarettes.
Meanwhile, opponents say banning legal vaping flavors could expand Guam's black market. They also argue adults rely on flavors to transition away from traditional cigarettes.
The hearing will provide legislators critical public feedback on this polarizing issue from both sides.