NY Health Council approves flavored vape ban

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council has voted in favor of the Governor’s executive order to ban flavored e-cigarette products.

The ban will take effect immediately.

The Council’s approval is an emergency regulation and is only effective for 90 days. After 90 days, the council will have to revisit the ban.

Officials pointed to a significant increase of e-cigarettes by young people, which they said was driven by the flavors.

“It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes – it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press statement. “New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits.”

According to New York State Department of Health data, nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of high school students in New York State are now using e-cigarettes, and the increase is largely driven by flavored e-liquids. High school use in 2018 (27.4%) is 160 percent higher than it was in 2014 (10.5%).

While New York’s high school student smoking rate dropped from 27.1 percent in 2000 to a record low of 4.3 percent in 2016, aggressive marketing strategies promoting flavored e-cigarettes is primed to turn that trend, the DOH said.

The Council’s approval makes New York State the first state in the country to implement a ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids.

The ban does not impact tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, but Cuomo said the Department of Health would continue evaluating and that could change.

Businesses now only have two weeks to pull the flavored products from store shelves.

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