On Tuesday, the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council voted to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, reports the AP. New York is the first state to do so, and the move was passed just two days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed an emergency ban on Sunday.
Cuomo urged the ban after a recent slate of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping. On Sunday, Cuomo said the flavors of e-cigarettes that are available, like bubble gum and cotton candy, are designed to target young people. “These are obviously targeted to young people and highly effective at targeting young people,” Cuomo said.
State health department officials say almost 40% of high school seniors and 27% of high school students overall use e-cigarettes in New York state in 2018. High school use was only 10.5% in 2014. Officials say the increase in use is at least partly driven by the flavors.
The ban will cover flavored e-cigarettes and other vaping products, with an exemption for menthol and tobacco flavors, and it goes into effect immediately. Retailers, in turn, only have two weeks to remove merchandise from store shelves.