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New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D) has cleared the first hurdle in his efforts to make a NY flavor ban a reality – the bill, S.0428 has already passed the Senate Health Committee and has been scheduled for a floor vote in the state Senate. A similar bill, A47, sponsored by New York Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, will be brought for a vote in the New York State Assembly. Once the bill passes both the Senate and Assembly, it will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature. The NY flavor ban law, if passed, would become effective immediately.

Like most other vape juice flavor bans, the NY flavor ban would prohibit, “flavored e-liquid”, specifically, “liquid composed of nicotine and other chemicals, and which is sold as a product that may be used in an electronic cigarette which contains a natural or artificial constituent or additive that causes such e-liquid or its smoke to have a characterizing flavor.” The ban includes fruit, chocolate, vanilla, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb and spice flavoring among others, but notably leaves out tobacco and menthol flavors, which are generally believed to be less appealing to underage vapers and more appealing to adults seeking to quit smoking. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found e-cigarette users were twice as likely to quit as those using other stop smoking methods like the patch, or nicotine gum.

Senator Hoylman said in a statement, “E-cigarette flavors like fruit punch, gummy bear, and cotton candy are Big Tobacco’s irresponsible, cynical ploy to hook a generation of young New Yorkers on nicotine. They are getting away with it”.

The language of the bill appears to only ban vape juices that contain nicotine, not the zero nicotine vape juice favored by many e-cigarette users — but the final bill may still be amended before, and if, it becomes law.

2018 marked a significant increase in youth vaping, with 37.3 % of high school seniors reporting use of e-cigarettes, compared to 27.8% in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Senator Hoylman said in a statement, “It’s time to rid the marketplace of kid-friendly e-cigs before more children are harmed.”

In furtherance of its efforts to stop youth vaping, the NY Assembly also just passed a bill to raise the vaping age to 21. Backed by Governor Cuomo, the bill will still have to pass the state senate in order to become law.

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