CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Starting on Monday, May 18, the sale of flavored vape products will be illegal in New York State, as well as the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies.
Starting Monday, if a retailer is caught selling flavored vaping products, they will face a fine of up to $100 for each item they have.
While advocates of the law say it’ll protect children and young adults in New York State, Mike Kruger, Capital District Director of New York State Vapor Association says it’s going to crush an industry that employs thousands across the state, while handing a win to Big Tobacco.
“It’s very hard to tell what the consumer’s going to do. I can tell you, over the past 45 days since we’ve been waiting on this to go into effect,” Kruger says, “I’ve had a lot of customers tell me that they’re going to eventually go back to smoking.”
Officials from the Vapor Technology Association seem to agree with Kruger’s sentiments.
“At a time when New York small businesses are barely holding on, New York’s statewide ban on flavored vapor products will close most of the 694 small mom and pop vape shops, throw 6,000 more New Yorkers out of work, and add another $680M wrench in the state’s budget crisis. In addition to the serious negative economic impacts of the flavor ban, New York lawmakers are forcing adults who rely on vapor products as their alternative to cigarettes back to traditional smoking or to the dangerous black market. In short, everyone in New York loses with the short-sighted flavor ban – small businesses, employees, taxpayers, and public health.” – Tony Abboud, Executive Director, Vapor Technology Association
But for Judy Rightmyer, Director of Capital District Tobacco Free Communities, this flavor ban is less about adults, and more about kids getting hooked on nicotine. She says even though they can’t legally purchase the products themselves, the current market allows them to get their hands on flavored vapes.
“What this law is really seeking to do is to stop that young person from smoking,” Rightmyer says, “and getting rid of flavors will do that, because we know the majority of kids use flavors and they won’t just go to the tobacco flavors.”
Some other rules will be effective July 1, including a ban of online sales of vaping products, and a ban on coupons for vaping and tobacco products.
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