Governor to propose banning flavored nicotine vaping products, vaping ads aimed at youth

Posted 29 December 2019 at 1:52 pm

‘Vaping is a public health crisis, claiming too many lives and making countless others sick in a short period of time.’ – Gov. Cuomo said.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 15th proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda: legislation banning all flavored nicotine vaping products including menthol flavors and vaping advertisements aimed at youth.

The legislation would also authorize the State Department of Health to regulate the sale of chemicals used in vaping-related products and ban the sale of vaping product carrier oils deemed to be a public health risk.

Finally, the legislation would prohibit the online, phone and mail order sale of e-cigarettes; only registered retailers would be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes using those methods.

“Vaping is a public health crisis, claiming too many lives and making countless others sick in a short period of time,” Governor Cuomo said. “The problem is made worse by unscrupulous vaping companies who are targeting young people with candy flavored products like Cotton Candy and Bubble-gum and other marketing ploys. While the federal administration continues its empty rhetoric on an issue impacting more than a quarter of all high school students, in New York we’re using every tool at our disposal to keep help children safe and stop them from forming an unhealthy and potentially deadly lifelong addiction.”

Ban the Sale of Flavored Nicotine Vaping Products

The Governor will introduce legislation banning the sale of all flavored nicotine vaping products, including menthol — an extension of the State’s ongoing efforts to reduce youth use of both tobacco and vaping products. Nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of all high school students are now using e-cigarettes, with this increase largely driven by flavored e-liquids used in vaping devices. With this ban New York continues to lead the charge on limiting the use of flavorings in all vaping products and provide critical support to local communities who are fighting this growing epidemic.

Restrict Vaping Ads Targeted to Youth

In addition to restricting the sale of flavors that appeal to kids, the Governor’s legislation will ban all vaping-related ads targeted to youth, including those in more traditional forms of advertising such as newspapers and magazines, as well as in digital formats in periodicals, social media and on websites with significant youth viewership. Advertisers will also not be allowed to make vaping product safety claims or pitch vaping products as smoking cessation options without FDA-approval.

Ban Harmful Unregulated Carrier Oils

Following the alarming number of hospitalizations and deaths involving patients who had reported a history of using e-cigarettes or vaping products, Vitamin E acetate — which is sometimes used as an e-liquid diluent — has been identified as a chemical of concern. In order to quickly respond to the proliferation of these dangerous, untested and unregulated chemicals used in vaping related products, the Governor will also advance legislation to empower the Department of Health to ban the sale of vaping carrier oils that include chemicals or ingredients that when inhaled through a vaping device are deemed to be dangerous and a significant public health risk.

Limit Online Sale of Vaping Products

The current sale of e-liquids and e-cigarettes through online, phone and mail order allows underage youth to purchase products unlawfully and circumvent sales taxes. Therefore, the Governor will advance legislation restricting the online, phone and mail order sale of e-liquids and e-cigarettes only to licensed vaping product retailers. Only registered retailers would be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes using those methods. This restriction, which already applies to the sale of conventional tobacco products, will help stop the illegal sale of dangerous vaping products to underage purchasers.

Governor Cuomo has taken unprecedented steps to ensure the health and safety of all New Yorkers by combatting the use of harmful tobacco and nicotine products. In 2017, Governor Cuomo expanded the Clean Indoor Air Act to prohibit e-cigarette use in nearly every workplace to protect workers and the public from harmful secondhand tobacco smoke and vaping aerosols.

In 2019, e-liquid retailers were required to register with the Department of Taxation and Finance and a 20 percent sales tax on e-liquids will be imposed. In November of 2019, the legal age for purchasing tobacco and e-cigarette products was raised to 21, further discouraging youth from accessing the products.  Moreover, at the Governor’s direction, DTF will triple the number of regulatory inspections of retailers authorized to sell tobacco products from 2018.