Gov. Scott vetoes bill on flavored tobacco ban in Vermont

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MONTPELIER — Governor Phil Scott made a decisive move against S.18, a bill aimed at prohibiting the sale of flavored e-liquids, tobacco substitutes, and menthol tobacco products in Vermont. The controversial ban would have included Zyn nicotine pouches that do not use tobacco leaves and contain no known carcinogens.

The veto, announced on Wednesday, marks a significant turn in the ongoing legislative battle concerning these products.

In a detailed letter addressed to the state’s lawmakers, Governor Scott articulated his reasons for vetoing the bill.

He expressed concerns over the bill’s inconsistency with Vermont’s stance on other similar products.

While the legislation focused on banning certain tobacco-related items, flavored alcohol and cannabis products continue to be legally sold in the state.

The governor highlighted this discrepancy as a key issue, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach in lawmaking.

Governor Scott, who clarified that he does not personally use tobacco products, stressed the importance of balancing youth protection with adults’ freedom to make their own choices.

He underlined that his veto was not a reflection of his personal views but rather a consideration of the broader implications of the bill.

The sentence reads:

“To be clear, I too feel we have an obligation to protect our children, but it must be balanced in such a way that we honor the rights and freedoms of adults to make decisions about their individual lives,” Gov. Scott wrote.

The future of the bill remains uncertain as it heads back to the Vermont legislature.

Previously, the House had passed the bill with an 83-53 vote, and the Senate had shown its support through an 18-11 vote.

However, these margins fall short of the two-thirds majority required to override the governor’s veto.

Legislators now face the challenge of reassessing their stance and potentially garnering additional support if they wish to advance the bill further.

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