Amid ongoing vaping epidemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced an “emergency executive action” to ban selling of flavored e-cigarettes.
On Sunday, in a press conference, the governor’s office said that the executive action would help eradicate misleading marketing practices of flavored e-cigarettes to children and teenagers.
In a statement, Gov. Cuomo said, “New York 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. 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,” added the governor.
The Cuomo administration also said that NY state police will work with the health department to carry out undercover investigations as per the ‘Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act.’
If caught selling flavored e-cigarettes to children or teens, retailers will have to face criminal as well as civil penalties under the executive order.
Gov. Cuomo held the press conference with Dr. Howard Zucker, the Health Commissioner of New York State. He said the new order could go into effect within a couple of weeks. The governor also explained that the state police will collaborate with the state health department to crack down on stores that sell vaping products to those who are under 18 years of age.
The executive order is likely to be enforced by October 4.
Gov. Cuomo’s executive order has come after the Trump administration announced that it is considering banning all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.
In an Oval Office meeting last week,President Trump declared that the proposed ban is a move to prevent children from picking up the vaping addiction after health officials said that they have been investigating more than 450 cases of severe lung disease and 6 deaths related to vaping.
The president told reporters, “We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it.”
Last week, Melania Trump took to Twitter to express her concern about vaping epidemic and called for the government action to protect children from using flavored e-cigarettes.
Alex Azar, the secretary of the Health and Human Services (HHS) explained the plans for the FDA to set new a policy to remove all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes from the shelves, except plain tobacco.