“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,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an emergency meeting held last month. “Names like, ‘Bubblegum’, ‘Cotton Candy’, ‘Captain Crunch’, are obviously targeted to young people and highly effective at targeting young people.”
“We are very pleased with the New York State Appellate Division’s decision, which acknowledges the strength of our claims about the State’s executive overreach, and which preserves the ability of hundreds of small businesses to remain open and continue to serve their adult customers.”
The proposed ban, said Cuomo, came in response to the rise in teen vaping. He added that further enforcement will be set in place to ensure that stores are not selling to minors. “Those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted.”
The governor had also spoken about the addictive nature of nicotine. “It is addicting young people to nicotine at a very early age and nicotine is highly addictive. It doesn’t even matter what product you are using. It is getting young people addicted to nicotine.”
Denying access to minors should not restrict adult smokers
Meanwhile, a lawsuit by the VTA, and local businesses Benevolent ELiquids Inc. and Perfection Vapes, stopped the measure in its tracks. “We are very pleased with the New York State Appellate Division’s decision, which acknowledges the strength of our claims about the State’s executive overreach, and which preserves the ability of hundreds of small businesses to remain open and continue to serve their adult customers,” said Tony Abboud, executive director of the association in a statement.
”As a business owner, I am thrilled that a judge was able to see that this is not an emergency situation,” said Spike Babaian, the owner of NYC’s VapeNY stores and a harm reduction advocate. “The real emergency is hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who almost went back to smoking.”
NYC Sues 22 E-Cig Vendors
On the other hand, New York City has just filed a federal lawsuit against 22 online sellers of vaping products, accusing them of using tactics to lure minors and selling the products to individuals under the legal 21 age limit.
The suit accuses the vendors of targeting minors via social media, and enticing them to try the products by selling child-friendly flavours such as “Lemon Twist,” “Freddy’s Pebbles” and “Whipped Salted Caramel.” “Preying on minors and hooking them on a potentially lethal, lifelong nicotine addiction is unconscionable,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “This lawsuit sends a message: we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids and the health of our city.”
Proposed Vapour Ban in NYC
Earlier this year, Council Health Chair Mark Levine had introduced Ordinance 1362, with the aim of banning flavoured e-cigarettes across the city. “Vaping has reached epidemic levels among teens, with life-long implications for young people who become addicted to nicotine,” said Levine at the time.
“One of the tools the industry has used to draw in teenagers is candy flavors like chocolate mint, blueberry, or cherry crush. These flavored smoking products disproportionately attract younger consumers, which is why New York City long-ago banned flavored tobacco. It’s time we did the same for e-cigarettes,” he added.
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