Governor Cuomo to ban flavored E-Cigarettes in NY

Clay Curtis
September 19, 2019

Speaking in Manhattan, Cuomo, a Democrat, said the state's Public Health and Health Planning Council and state health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker would issue an emergency regulation banning flavored e-cigarette products.

When vitamin E acetate, an oil that can be cut with weed oil to increase profits, is not sufficiently heated during aerosolisation, it can cause inflammation and lung problems - and as the New York Times separately reported, a recent bust in Wisconsin involving two brothers illustrated how easy it is to mass manufacture counterfeit marijuana oil products that resemble legitimate brands from states where weed has been legalised. "Manufacturers of fruit and candy-flavored e-cigarettes are intentionally and recklessly targeting young people, and today we're taking action to put an end to it".

Additionally, state police and the Department of Health will work together to conduct undercover investigations across the state in an effort to crack down on retailers found selling tobacco and vaping products to underage individuals. High school use in 2018 is 160 percent higher than it was in 2014.

Juul, the nation's largest e-cigarette company, said it welcomes steps to keep kids from using its products.

CBSN New York's Nick Caloway reports.

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It comes amid warnings from federal health officials that vaping could be unsafe.

Cuomo is raising the minimum age to 21 on November 13th. The industry has spent a lot of money in states around the country to lobby against state-level flavored e-cigarette bans, in states including Hawaii, California, Maine and CT. Tobacco and menthol-flavored products would not fall under the ban although the governor floated the prospect of menthol products being banned in the future. The Governor also signed legislation in October 2017 to ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all school grounds and everywhere that smoking products are prohibited.

"The vaping companies' only rationale is, well, we're better than cigarettes". Association president Harold Wimmer added that he supported a federal ban on all flavoured vaping products, saying "While today's announcement was well-intentioned, it will drive our youth to use menthol-flavoured products in even greater numbers".

"This is a burgeoning health crisis", said Cuomo in announcing the move at his Midtown office.

Cuomo said he was not banning menthol because the flavor may be helpful for menthol cigarette smokers who are trying to quit. NY has always been a leader in reducing tobacco use. There are more than 700 vape stores in the state, including more than 70 in New York City alone.

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