Dozens protest proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Local

Dozens of people showed up to protest a proposed ban on flavored e-cigarette products in Albany County Tuesday evening.

Some fear this will push them back towards tobacco cigarettes, while others believe it doesn’t go far enough. 

Over 60 people signed up to speak about this issue Tuesday night at the legislature meeting.

Those for it say it’ll help get flavored e-cigarettes out of the hands of kids, but many others say it helps people quit smoking.

Many outside the Albany County courthouse shared stories about how they quit smoking cigarettes by using flavored vape products.

“I used a fruit flavor to help me quit smoking.  I’m now five years smoke-free.”

This group of e-cigarette users feel under attack.  The local law would ban the sale of all flavored e-liquid products in Albany County, including mint and menthol, leaving just tobacco flavors left for sale.

“If you’re using something that tastes like your cigarette, then you’re that much closer to going and lighting up one more cigarette just because,” said Andrew Osborne from the New York Vapor Association.

In addition to making it more difficult for people to quit, 5-1 Vape owner David Le says the law would shut down his business.

“We carry about 150 flavors, and I think only about four of those flavors are tobacco flavors,” said Le, “so this would close up shop.”

“But unfortunately kids aren’t realizing what’s in these products,” said Caitlin O’Brien from the American Heart Association.

Advocates of the proposed law say it would help keep flavored vapes, specifically Juuls out of the hands of kids.

“If we can stop kids from ever starting and ever picking up this nicotine addiction, we can save lives,” said O’Brien.

“I think it’s time we take a more sensible approach to this, that isn’t going to shut down businesses, isn’t going to end people’s jobs, and isn’t going to send people back to smoking,” said Osborne.

This proposed law is still in the very early stages.  It’ll next go to committee where legislatures will make changes to the proposal.

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