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Local Impact of Ban on Flavored Vape Juice

“Vape Pen and Vaporizer Collection” by VAPES.COM is licensed under CC BY 2.0
A vape shop located in the Ithaca Commons (Photo by John Wikiera/Ithaca Week)

On Sept. 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would be the first state in the nation to implement a ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids, following a vote on emergency regulations by the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council.

The ban set to be implemented through an Executive Order is the latest in a series of actions in an attempt to combat the increase of young people using e-cigarettes and other vaping products, like Juuls. As this would be a statewide ban on flavored vape juice, many vape shops across the state will be affected.

Vape Dragons, located in the Ithaca Commons has been closed since Oct. 4, the date the flavor ban was originally supposed to go into effect.

According to Yoshi Aerson, an employee at Vape Dragon’s sister store, Headdies, the ban “is pretty much shutting down most of the business,” even though “most of the business doesn’t have to deal with just menthol and tobacco.”

Posted on the front door of the Vape Dragons shop in the Ithaca Commons (Photo by John Wikiera/Ithaca Week)

“It’s a public health crisis and it ends today. New York is not waiting for the federal government to act,” said Cuomo in a statement.

Under this ban, “Each individual container or other separate unit or any component or part that imparts flavor to an e-cigarette…will constitute a separate violation.” For each of these products still being sold, a shop could be fined upwards of $2,000. The exact fine is not included in the language of the Order and that may be to allow the state flexibility.

Although the ban was set to become law on Oct. 4, a ruling by the State Appellate Court in Albany delayed it from going into effect after the vaping industry filed a suit to stop it. It will remain on hold until Oct. 18, when both parties return to court.

Clearly, there is an upward trend in vaping products by youths in the past 7 years. (Photo created by John Wikiera/Ithaca Week)

In an article published by the New York Post, Tony Abboud, who heads the Vapor Technology Association, said “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.”

According to a Siena College poll:

  • 61% of New Yorkers , support the emergency ban on flavored e-cigarettes, while 52% support banning all e-cigarettes and vaping devices from sale.
  • Furthermore, 78% of New Yorkers think e-cigarette use and vaping is a somewhat or very serious public health problem.
  • In other signs of public concern about the issue, 73% of New Yorkers say there is a vaping epidemic among young people.

This ban is not necessarily unprecedented. As part of the Family Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Act of 2009, the U.S. Congress banned the sale of cigarettes with flavors other than menthol and tobacco.

Feature image: “Vape Pen and Vaporizer Collection” by VAPES.COM is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

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