State of the State: Cuomo pushes to ban vape products and ads

NY Capitol News

FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, a woman using an electronic cigarette exhales a puff of smoke in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Massachusetts lawmakers have approved the nation’s toughest restrictions on flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. The ban was passed by the Senate early Thursday, Nov. 21, before the legislature broke for a holiday recess. It had earlier been passed by the state House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In Wednesday’s State of the State address, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed banning several vaping products and practices to address the dangers of nicotine addiction. Cuomo favors potential legislation prohibiting:

  • Chemicals and carrier oils deemed a public health risk
  • All flavored e-liquids
  • Advertisements aimed at youth
  • Online, phone, and mail order electronic cigarettes sales to consumers

When introduced, such new measures would authorize the Health Department to outlaw certain potentially dangerous oils and vaping devices ingredients linked to vape-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. The Health Department would have greater powers to evaluate, for example, vitamin E acetate, an untested, unregulated chemical of concern sometimes used as an e-liquid diluting agent.

Because vaping flavors like cotton candy and bubblegum appeal to children, Cuomo favors banning sales of all flavors outright, including menthol. Targeting these products to kids results in up to 40% of high school seniors vaping. Cuomo’s legislation would restrict all vape and vape-adjacent ads intended for kids in newspapers, magazines, and digital periodicals, and on social media and youth-oriented websites.

To limit sale to anonymous minors, only registered and licensed retailers could purchase e-cigarettes online or by mail or phone. Ideal legislation would further block advertisers from making safety claims or pitching vaping as a smoking cessation option without FDA approval.

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