New York becomes first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

New York becomes first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

New York has officially banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes effective immediately, under new emergency regulations.

This makes New York the first state in the country to ban flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids, to cut down on the products’ popularity among younger crowds. The ban followed an emergency regulation vote by the Public Health and Health Planning Council. It was paired with a statement by New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to evaluate a ban on menthol flavor as well. That recommendation will follow within 14 days.

“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,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “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.”

The action follows a similar vein to the federal Family Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Act of 2009, which banned the sale of cigarettes with flavors other than menthol and tobacco. Cuomo earlier directed the Department of Health to convene its emergency meeting and ordered both it and the State Police to increase an enforcement crackdown against retailers targeting underage youth. The governor likewise intends to push legislation that would ban deceptive, targeted marketing of e-cigarettes toward teens and children.

Data released by the Department of Health shows that almost 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of high school students in New York now use e-cigarettes, mostly due to flavored e-liquids.

The Department of Health intends to offer retailers an approximately two week grace period before initiating enforcement visits beginning on October 4. This oversight will be handled by local health departments and the Department of Health’s district offices, with state oversight. Violators of the ban face fines of up to $2,000 per violation.