The issue: The rise in vaping in recent years has raised concerns within the medical community of teenagers and young adults developing unhealthy lifetime habits, an echo of tobacco trends during the 20th century.

What we wrote: “Big Tobacco faced marketing challenges of its own when it was banned from network television, eventually stooping to such lows as the infamous “Joe Camel” cartoon ad. But vaping thrives in this stealth era of viral marketing. Try Googling “vape marketing strategies” and you’ll encounter ideas that will leave the bitter aftertaste of a three-pack-a-day habit.” Editorial, Jan. 4, 2018.

“Connecticut has failed regarding tobacco, is flailing in the face of vaping, and is becoming addicted to the idea of drawing income from marijuana sales. We’re not confident lawmakers can yet see clearly through the haze.” Editorial, Feb. 10, 2019

“The message to young people should be as emphatic and clear as their lungs ought to be — vaping is unhealthy. And dangerous.” Oct. 3, 2019

What’s new: Several legislative initiatives that were unable to gain traction as a consequence of COVID-19 last year are now being revived. The charge is led by a physician, state Sen. Said Anwar, D-South Windsor, who is vice chairman of the Public Health Committee.

Proposals include outright banning refillable e-cigarettes, which would be akin to putting the smoke back in the bottle. There is also a pitch to stop the sale of all nicotine products in pharmacies, as well as an aggressive attempt to prevent sales of e-cigarettes within five miles of a school.

Where we stand: We appreciate Anwar’s reasoning that it is outrageous that pharmacies committed to healing also peddle products that fuel addictions. He points to data linking lifespan to a child’s access to tobacco products.

Connecticut needs to acknowledge and address its own unsteady habits. Two years ago, legislators raised the minimum age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21, stopping short of doing the same for vaping. That was soon remedied through a bill proposed by state Rep. Chris Perone, D-Norwalk.

Given how much the state has struggled with the issue, it’s understandable that the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has set modest goals, primarily focused on the elimination of all flavored tobacco products.

There should not be obstacles to following that path. The same holds for a measure that would require proof of age for online purchases. The five-mile zone is considerably more treacherous. As it would include gas stations and variety stores, it feels like a creative alternate route, but is sure to hit a dead end in Hartford.

There is encouraging data about a drop in teen use of vaping products, but those numbers could be compromised by the past months of virtual learning.

Connecticut has had enough time to form a clear moral stand on the issue. If there are lingering doubts about the need to reform laws regarding e-cigarettes, consider this: The coronavirus attacks the lungs.

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