Governor Cuomo To Push For Legislation To Ban E-Cigarettes In New York

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the State Department of Health (DOH) to take steps to address the rising number of vaping-related illnesses and the growing number of youths that are developing nicotine addictions by using vaping products.

According to the Department, nearly 40 percent of 12th-grade students and 27 percent of high school students in New York State now use e-cigarettes.

“We have a commitment and responsibility to keep our young people and all New Yorkers safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in a statement. “As vaping-related illnesses rise nationwide, we are taking action to address the crisis and prevent harm to our children and families. We want to make sure companies are held accountable for any wrongdoing and ensure regulations are in place to prevent illnesses and promote healthy lifestyles.”

Governor Cuomo has instructed DOH to issue subpoenas to three companies manufacturing and selling thickening agents used in vaping products and to declare emergency regulations requiring warning signs to be posted in New York vape and smoke shop windows.

Thickeners are marketed on the internet as a cheap and safe method of cutting vaping products to a desired THC level without affecting flavor or smell.

DOH will also be launching a public service campaign to educate the public on the potential risks of vaping.

Cuomo says that the recent rise in vaping-related illnesses is a frightening public health phenomenon and that he will propose legislation to ban the possession, manufacture, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of vaping products in New York.

As of September 9, DOH had received 41 reports from New York physicians of vaping-related illnesses, though none have been associated with patients in the State’s medical cannabis program.