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New York State Plans Flavored E-Cig Ban in 2019

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Armed to set a U.S. precedent, New York State officials are eyeing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes in 2019. Governor Andrew Cuomo is known for his favor of vaping restrictions, and if passed, the prohibition would be the first statewide effort regarding flavors.So far, the New York Post, reports, the state Health Department has issued regulations “to prohibit the manufacture, sales and possession of flavored e-smokes.” Shops could, however, continue to sell tobacco and unflavored menthol e-cigarettes — for now. The organization told the Post that “Regulations are necessary to address the alarming increase of e-cigarette use among New York’s youth. New York-State specific surveillance data shows that youth e-cigarette use has risen at a dramatic rate over just the last four years, driven primarily by the abundance of e-liquid flavors,” the agency said in the New York State Register, where it gave public notice of the ban.

The New York State Vapor Association reports an estimated 700 vape shops in the state that employ approximately 2,700 people. Long Island alone houses 70 vape shops that employ three to four workers per location, which are sure to be affected if the ban goes into effect. Newsday reports that “dozens” of shops on Long Island would close if the plan becomes a reality.

Michael Frennier, president of the New York State Vapor Association, told Newsday that the measure “would shut the industry down,” eliminating more than 2,500 jobs. “Nearly all of the e-liquid sold in vape shops across the state is flavored. The amount of bankruptcies and foreclosures from vape shops closing down would be astronomical," Frennier said.

Once the Post got a hold of the news, the regulation went back to the drawing board for a legal review and potential resubmission. If passed, the ban would go into effect in 2019 after a 60-day review. Health officials claim there are approximately 15,000 flavored e-cigs on the market, and Cuomo says that youth who vape flavors is the reason for his crusade against the industry.