New York Moves To Ban Menthol Flavored E-Cigarettes

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ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – New York’s ban on flavored electronic cigarettes could soon be extended to menthol e cigarettes.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says his Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, is now recommending that menthol flavored e cigarettes be taken off the market in New York. Cuomo says the Public Health and Health Planning Council will soon convene an emergency meeting to vote on a ban. The recommendation comes one week after the council voted to ban flavored e cigarettes, effective October 4th.

The nicotine liquid used in e-cigarettes comes in a variety of flavors. Gov. Cuomo says these flavors are made with kids in mind, but some former cigarette smokers say the flavors help them quit. A.CURRELL / FLICKR

Cuomo, in a statement accompanying the announcement, says a study by the health department and the CDC found that one third of underage vapers are attracted to the menthol products, a figure not much lower than the 51% of teenaged vapers who say they like flavored e cigarettes.

“We can’t sit back and wait for the federal government to take action while a whole new generation becomes addicted to nicotine,” Cuomo said, in a statement. “And this ban on the sale of menthol flavors further enhances our efforts to protect young people from forming dangerous lifelong habits.”

The decisions come as a national health crisis stemming from vaping has sickened hundreds and killed several people. All had been vaping, though evidence so far points to additives to illegal cannabis vaping products , and not to nicotine based vaping substances.

The owners of vaping shops in New York say the ban will put them out of business, and they have filed a lawsuit in civil court.

The decision was applauded by health groups, including the American Cancer Society.