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North Jersey Shops Hit With Costly Vape Licensing Requirements

North Jersey Shops Hit With Costly Vape Licensing Requirements


North Jersey Shops Hit With Costly Vape Licensing Requirements

The Ridgewood Village Council in New Jersey is weighing whether or not local merchants should have to purchase an expensive license in order to sell vapor products. If the motion passes, licenses would cost $1,200 annually. This figure is significantly higher than for licenses  required to sell tobacco products, which can be had for as little as $50.

Certifications for shops that sell vapes have become increasingly common around the state; over twenty local governments have already adopted licensing requirements. In their arguments, members of the council cited familiar concerns about underaged vaping, according to a report in the local USA Today affiliate North Jersey.

“As you know, the smoking world has changed. It’s not about smoking cigarettes anymore,” Ridgewood Health Officer/Director Dawn Cetrulo told the council recently. “With the Juuling and the e-cigarettes, it’s very popular with middle-schoolers and high-schoolers. They’re doing them in the bathrooms and there is no odor with them, so we are trying to have some kind of control over it.”

However, these criticisms are often misrepresentations about vaping that we’ve covered extensively on this blog. A 2016 study from the University of Michigan found that both tobacco and vaping use among underage students was on the decline, and in 2018 a similar report from Cancer Research UK showed that the "gateway effect" leading vapers to eventually smoke was difficult to measure and, at the very least, inflated by stigmatization of products containing nicotine.   

At the state level, there are no regulations that require vape shop licensing in New Jersey. However, the state does require the aforementioned $50 tobacco license for anyone selling cigarettes, which is far less expensive than the proposed licenses.

The lack of oversight by New Jersey’s state government was also cited as a reason for local government to step in. While licenses haven’t been mandated statewide, it’s worth noting that other laws have been proposed in the state that would greatly change the way that vapor products could be accessed. In March, legislation was introduced to raise taxes on vapor products by 75 percent, and in June, the state proposed a ban on vaping on beaches and state parks.