Flavored E-Cigarettes Banned In NYS. Graphic Of Emojis representing Vape Flavors.

NY State Moves To Ban Flavored E-Cigs; Media Conflates E-Cigarette & Illicit THC Vapes

It’s official. Flavored E-Cigs are Out in NYS. Emergency Regulations were enacted after the NYS Public and Health Planning Council voted to ban the flavored smokeless tobacco products after Governor Cuomo’s direction to take immediate action. This ban is effective immediately, leaving vape shops across the Island, and the state, with tons of inventory they now cannot sell. And, in a mere fourteen days, a ban on menthol flavored vapes will be considered by New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. While the ban on flavors other than menthol is effective immediately, the Department of health is providing retailers with a two-week grace period before enforcement efforts begin in earnest.

According to the Governor’s report, the ban of flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquid was precipitated by the need to stop children from using these products and becoming addicted to nicotine. While President Trump is also considering a Federal ban, NY’s Governor Cuomo had this to say, “New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits.”

Up until now, these products had been available in a plethora of flavors with colorful names. The Family Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Act of 2009 enacted by Congress had already created a Federal ban on flavored cigarettes. This included clove cigarettes, and even tobacco-free clove cigarettes. The only non-natural tobacco flavor permitted under this ban is menthol. Now, New York is the first to take measures to do the same for vapes. “It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes – it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” were Governor Andrew Cuomo’s words.

Flavored E-Cigarettes Banned In NYS. Graphic Of Emojis representing Vape Flavors.

Flavored E-Cigarettes Banned In NYS. Graphic Of Emojis representing Vape Flavors.

“The alarmingly high numbers of young people in New York State who are using vape products is nothing short of a public health crisis,” according to NYS DOH Commissioner┬á Dr. Howard Zucker. NYS DOH data suggests that a whopping 40%of 12th graders, and 27% of high school students, are presently using e-cigarette products. While this may alarm most readers, there is a good side to all of this: The rate of smoking dropped from about one in four back in 2000, to one in 24, in 2016. While tobacco use fell, vaping rose steadily in the same time period.

Kids, as well as just adults, believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. In fact, most vape shops promote vaping as a harm reduction strategy for smokers. A 2017 NYS survey showed that roughly one in five adolescents indicated that the flavor was what got them started using such products. Of course, the fact that vaping has been promoted as a safer alternative to smoking likely had a significant role in its rise in popularity among the age group, just as it has for adults.

In the major media outlets, there has been a significant muddying of the issue of deadly vapes. Most local new channels have been conflating nicotine vapes and the illicit THC vapes that have been causing widespread death and serious health issues. By now, it’s been all but clearly established that the cause of the recent rash of illness was, in fact, black market THC vapes, purportedly containing THC, but actually containing tocopherol acetate (vitamin E) as an unlisted “cutting agent.” These fake vapes were often labeled to mimic well-known brands that are available in states where THC is legal at the state level.

Most states witnessing the recent vaping health crisis did not allow THC to be consumed,or sold, legally. In Colorado, with its burgeoning THC and cannabis market,there were no reported cases. However, California is not so lucky, reporting vape-related sickness. So if black market “THC” vapes were largely the culprit, why is that no longer the focus of news reports? States with “decriminalized” marijuana and cannabis acknowledge the demand, yet keep the supply illicit. This is a recipe for disaster.

Is the new NYS ban going to create a black market for nicotine vapes, like the demand for THC vapes in states no legal THC alternatives has? It’s quite vexing; the solution to the acute health crisis traced back to black market THC is to…create yet another black market for an entire class of nicotine vapes.

While use of vaping products by young people is alarming, now adolescents and adults alike may turn to the same black market drug dealers that distributed and sold the fake THC vaping products to find flavored nicotine vapes, potentially exposing them to the same hazard of untested and unregulated illicit products. Now the cartels can also offer fake e-cigs among their questionable wares. How did this address the health crisis again?

True; kids vaping is a health crisis. However, the acute health crisis involving deaths and breathing difficulties is another issue, entirely. This measure only serves to further push the issue of dangerous fake THC vapes under the rug. A large part of the recent spate of deaths can be directly attributed to “decriminalization” efforts regarding marijuana, as well as marijuana prohibition. There is a demand for these products among adults, however keeping them illegal or “decrimmed” only fosters the blossoming of an illegal trade in such products.

Adults should have the freedom to vape or smoke tobacco, or even marijuana if they wish to do so. In what we like to pride ourselves as the “Freest Country On Earth,” it doesn’t make sense to treat adults like kids, enacting law after law regulating behavior. Americans 100 years ago would have balked at the notion. Of course, far less was known about the hazards of tobacco then, but it’s the principle. Americans of legal age should be able to vape bubble gum or blueberry flavored e-cigs if they so desire. While it is the place to enact regulations on such items against their use by kids and adolescents, blanket bans on sales keeping adults from buying is without merit.

Many adults claim to have kicked their smoking habit by vaping, a supposedly “safer” practice that does not produce combustion by-products like smoking does. While newscasters fall over themselves on the networks gushing with warning about how we just don’t know the hazards of vaping yet, many feel that in any case, it’s a safer way to take nicotine or THC, than smoking.

Vaping has been with us, as a culture, for well over ten years now; that includes vaping nicotine; that includes vaping THC. And, in that time, we haven’t seen death and destruction of users. That is, until recently. And, attributing the cause to nicotine vapes, or even regulated and tested THC vapes, when it seems to have been fake THC vapes all along, is dubious, and contradicts the evidence.

The Governor’s executive order will also raise the age for sale of e-cigarette products from 18 to 21. State Police will also be conducting sting operations, partnering with the state DOH, checking to see if vape stores will sell to patrons under 18 years of age. There will be both civil, as well as criminal, penalties for those stores found to be skirting the law. Certainly, there will be legal challenges raised by some of the vape store owners. Sting operations, as well as raising the age to purchase, cannot be contested, however, the blanket ban on flavored e-cigs almost certainly will.

Will the vape stores go out of business? That would push more users to seek these products online, where product safety is questionable,and age verification is more difficult. With over 25 vape shops on Staten Island alone, it’s been a great way for working people to start their own businesses and thrive. With the app and contractor economy in full swing, there are fewer and and fewer ways for a person to earn a living that can support a family without struggling. Below, we’ve interviewed a number of vape store owners about these issues (pending).

14 Comments

  • Avatar islander skipper says:

    Smoking cessation patches are bought by the city. So it’s a subsidized industry. Vapes are killing this. That’s the real motivation for all this nonsense. Keep people smoking and then using the patches that the city buys and gives out for free.

    • Avatar Cranky says:

      The patches get you off tobacco. The vapes just keep you smoking. Not at all the same.

    • island skipper island skipper says:

      I’ve been inspired by the Trix Rabbit to make a real account. I can’t believe I’m saying that. ­čśÉ

      I didn’t realize I could actually open a commenter account until I saw the avatar and inferred that it’s possible.

      Obviously, it is.

      • island skipper island skipper says:

        I’m not Jonas Grumby but how often do I feel like I’m stuck on an island?

        Alan Hale Jr. was my hero growing up.

        Somehow, the completion of the VZ bridge was like the Gilligan’s Island cast being rescued.

  • Avatar Quit Smoking 6 Years Ago By Vaping says:

    I quit smoking and switched to vaping 6 yrs ago.

    I enjoy flavored vapes, and over time, I’ve been able to wean myself down to a lower percentage of nicotine.

    I no longer wheeze and cough up black gunk.But now somehow this is worse for me? I couldn’t go up two flights of stairs for about fifteen years. I’m not buying this. In fact, I’m furious.

    I don’t want to VAPE tobacco flavored e-juice. Or menthol. it just reminds me of lighting up again. Pure BS nanny state f****** on the people. We pay taxes for this?

  • Avatar high hopes says:

    Yes. We pay taxes for this.

    Now be a good child and stop talking and open your mouth wide.

    This castor oil is good for you even though you don’t know it. You don’t know any better.

    After all, nanny always knows best. You’re just a child.

    • Avatar wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! says:

      wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

      I don’t wannnnnnnnnnnnnnnt to!

      Very funny comment. Good way to make your point. But isn’t it the American ppl what have become this way? We’re so willing to listen to the xperts who know nothing about life. Get off my back. If I want to vape its my choice. Same for smoking. Or even smoking weed.

      Imagine an educated American from 1912. I think they’d **** seeing how we’ve become like babies who can’t do a thing on their own.

  • Avatar DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID says:

    This is completely frustrating.

    The problem was thc carts that were bad.

    The solution is to get rid of flavored nicotine e-cigs.

    I like how every mainstream media paper and news is saying “e-cigarettes” and won’t dare to explain the facts.

    Kudos to Staten Islander news editors for the bravery of telling the truth. I hate to say it and it has bad implications but it’s now rare.

  • Avatar fake news reader says:

    I hate the fake news media. A lot I hear from the president is questionable. But you have to admit he’s right about the media being fake news. This news site can’t be called news or media because it’s too real and honest. I’m just wiating for the day I visit and the fake headlines begin. It’s just a matter of time.

  • Avatar stop the lying says:

    there’s just no way vaping is as bad as smoking

    stop the lying

    we’re not falling for it anymore

    best strategy is don’t tune into the news or buy papers that put out fake ****

  • Silly Wabbit Silly Wabbit says:

    It’s despicable how people found a way to make money, legally, and now they’re having the rug pulled from under them.

    Go after the real criminals, those drug dealers selling fake THC vapes that they “cut” with vitamin E and GOD knows what else.

    Vitamin E is probably just the beginning. A proper investigation would probably turn up a lot worse. Including fentanyl in dilute doses. Pesticides? Rat poison?

  • Avatar :::::JUSTIN::::: says:

    Just ban it all already. Doesn’t matter to most as anything they ban will end up sold illegally anyway. Not much you can do when the demand is there.

    Oh wait. Isn’t the issue high demand for THC vapes and the supply is strictly black market? So let’s ban flavored nicotine vapes to deal with the deadly fake THC vape pens. Makes sense to me.

    I just saw a mosquito in my den. I think I’ll go out and buy some ant traps to deal with it. Better yet, I’ll leave the sliding door open at night with the lights on. My ant trap will take care of any pesky mosquitoes that wander in , don’t you think. It just takes clear thinking,kids.

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