Law & the Courts

New York to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes by Emergency Order

A woman smokes a Juul e-cigarette. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that he will seek an emergency ban on flavored e-cigarettes  after a spate of deaths from lung illnesses related to vaping.

“Vaping is dangerous. Period,” Cuomo said Sunday in Manhattan, adding that companies intentionally market their products towards youth and attempt to develop addictions.

“It is addicting millions of young people to nicotine at a very early age,” the Democratic governor said. “No one can say long-term use of vaping — where you’re inhaling steam and chemicals deep into your lungs — is healthy.”

The Public Health and Health Planning Council will release the rule effective next month banning flavored vaping products, which are popular with teenagers. Tobacco and menthol-flavored products would not fall under the ban although the governor floated the prospect of menthol products being banned in the future.

The move comes after the Trump administration announced last week that most flavored e-cigarettes would be banned on the federal level as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned earlier this month against using e-cigarettes in general, saying that while the investigation is ongoing, “this is the primary means of preventing lung disease.”

Six deaths have resulted in several states as a result of the mysterious lung disease, the causes of which are still under investigation. New York has recorded 64 cases. Federal and New York state officials have found a possible link to products containing THC, a compound found in marijuana, which often also contain Vitamin E acetate, an oil that can be harmful if inhaled.

“We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our kids be so affected,” President Trump said.

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