Gov. Scott Sides with Big Tobacco… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
sign up

Gov. Scott Sides with Big Tobacco Over Vermont Kids by Vetoing Bill to End Flavored Tobacco Sales

Statement of John Bowman, Executive Vice President for U.S. Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
April 03, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It is deeply disappointing that Gov. Phil Scott has protected the tobacco industry at the expense of Vermont’s kids and taxpayers by vetoing legislation to crack down on the sale of flavored tobacco products. This veto gives the tobacco industry free rein to continue its predatory targeting of kids, Black Americans, LGBTQ+ and other communities with flavored products. It is also a missed opportunity to save Vermont taxpayers money by reducing the $404 million a year the state spends on tobacco-related healthcare costs. This veto ignores the will of the Vermont Legislature and the strong public support for the bill, with polling showing support from 68% of Vermont voters.

We commend Vermont’s legislative leadership for spearheading this lifesaving and fiscally responsible legislation and urge the Legislature to override the governor’s veto. We also applaud the thousands of Vermont parents, students, educators, healthcare professionals and many more who have tirelessly advocated for this legislation.

The bill would end the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes, which have fueled a crisis of youth nicotine addiction. In Vermont, 16.1% of high school students currently use e-cigarettes, and research shows that about 90% of youth e-cigarette users nationwide use flavored products. The legislation also would have ended the sale of all menthol-flavored tobacco products, which the tobacco industry has used to target kids, Black Americans, the LGBTQ+ community and other communities, contributing to significant health disparities. It also would have prohibited the sale of flavored oral nicotine pouch products, like Zyn, which are a growing threat to our kids and have been heavily promoted on social media.