House OKs Mullery bill to ban nicotine products in schools

HARRISBURG, June 12 – Nicotine-based products and electronic cigarettes would be banned in Pennsylvania schools, under legislation passed unanimously Tuesday by the state House of Representatives and authored by Rep. Gerald Mullery.

“Part of encouraging young people to live healthy lives is discouraging destructive habits from starting,” said Mullery, D-Newport Township, who drafted the legislation after conversations with school resource officers and teachers concerned with the rapidly growing population of young students using e-cigarettes and JUULs.

Cigarette smoking is already prohibited on school grounds, but Mullery’s H.B. 2268 also would ban e-cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco and other nicotine products.

In recent years, the use of other nicotine-based products has increased where nearly three in five high school students use e-cigarettes, according to the U.S. surgeon general.

Ninety percent of adult smokers picked up the habit as teenagers when they were most susceptible to addiction and in a critical period of growth and brain development.

If the bill becomes law, violations would be punishable as a summary offense with a fine not to exceed $50.

The bill heads to the state Senate for consideration.