New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the state will ban flavored e-cigarettes, calling it “a public health emergency.”
New York Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker will hold an emergency meeting with the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) this week to carry out the ban.
Cuomo said he is not banning menthol because the flavor may be helpful for menthol cigarette smokers who are trying to quit, but this may change.
Cuomo also announced that he will advance legislation to ban what he said is deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to teens and children.
“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,” he said. “At the same time, unscrupulous stores are knowingly selling vaping products to underage youth — those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted.”
To further “crack down on retailers selling tobacco and vaping products to underage youth,” State Police will partner with DOH to conduct undercover investigations across the state under The Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, which enlists underage youth to attempt to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products.
Retailers found selling tobacco and vaping products to underage individuals will now face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties.
In July, Cuomo signed a new law raising the age to buy all tobacco products in New York, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21, which will take effect Nov. 13.
Michigan became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes last week, also through executive order. The Trump administration has also said that a newly proposed enforcement policy would require e-cigarette companies to take their flavored products off the market.