New York governor pushes for flavored e-cig ban, citing risk to youth

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers a speech on the importance of renewable energy and signs the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act at Fordham Law School in the borough of Manhattan on July 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

NEW YORK  — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed state health officials to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, citing the risk of young people getting addicted to nicotine.

The Democrat announced Sunday that the state health commissioner would be making a recommendation this week to the state Public Health and Health Planning Council.

The council can issue emergency regulations that could go into effect in as soon as two weeks.

In announcing the action, Cuomo sharply criticized the flavors that are for sale, like bubble gum and cotton candy, as being “obviously targeted” to young people.

The ban would not impact tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes.

Cuomo signed legislation earlier this year raising the statewide smoking age to 21.

President Donald Trump proposed a similar federal ban last week in response to a recent surge in underage vaping.

Trump’s first public comments on vaping come as health authorities investigate hundreds of breathing illnesses reported 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 restrictions announced by Trump officials would only apply to nicotine vaping products, which are regulated by the FDA.

The FDA has had the authority to ban vaping flavors since 2016, but has previously resisted calls to take that step. Agency officials instead said they were studying if flavors could help smokers quit traditional cigarettes.

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