After Michigan, New York becomes the second US state to ban flavoured e-cigarettes. The announcement comes on Tuesday after several vaping related deaths came forward that have raised fears about a product that has long been promoted as less harmful than smoking.
Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed emergency legislation that was passed by a health council banning flavoured products amid an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease that has killed seven people and sickened hundreds.
The ban was forcefully taken into effect. Michigan was the first state to ban it earlier this month, but that law has yet to be implemented. “It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavours like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes — it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” said Cuomo.
Last week, the Trump administration declared that it would soon ban flavoured e-cigarette products to stem a rising tide of youth users. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the regulator of e-cigarettes, said the move may later be extended to an outright prohibition of vaping if adolescents migrate to tobacco flavours, seen as more legitimate products that help smokers quit their habit.
“New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavoured e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits,” Cuomo added.
All the shops in New York now will have two weeks to remove vaping products from their shelves. However, the ban will not be applicable to menthol or tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006 and are sometimes used as an aid to quit smoking traditional tobacco products like cigarettes.
The use of these E-cigarettes has been raised to an extreme level among teenagers in recent years which is some 3.6 million middle and high school students used vaping products in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million on the year before.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently claimed there were now more than 450 possible cases of pulmonary illness related to vaping in the US.
The CDC has warned against vaping after the officials investigate the exact cause of the deaths. During an examination, New York’s health department found very high levels of vitamin E oil in cannabis cartridges. Vitamin E is a commonly used nutritional supplement but is dangerous when inhaled.