The Democratic governor, who signed an executive order on Thursday requiring vaping to be included in New York’s anti-tobacco campaigns, said the state “is confronting this crisis head-on and today we are taking another nation-leading step to combat a public health emergency.”
“Manufacturers of fruit and candy-flavored e-cigarettes are intentionally and recklessly targeting young people, and today we’re taking action to put an end to it,” he said in a statement. “At the same time, unscrupulous stores are knowingly selling vaping products to underage youth — those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted.”
Cuomo’s office said the state’s Department of Health (DOH) commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, would be making a recommendation this week to the state Public Health and Health Planning Council, which can issue emergency regulations that could go into effect in as soon as two weeks.
His office also said Cuomo has directed New York State Police and the DOH to ramp up law enforcement efforts “against retailers who sell to underage youth, with the possibility of criminal penalties,” and added Cuomo plans to “advance legislation to ban deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to teens and children.”
The ban would not impact tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes.
President Trump last week said the federal government plans to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes as health authorities investigate hundreds of breathing illnesses reporting in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified, though many cases involve marijuana vaping.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.