Governor's Budget Proposal Includes Legislation Authorizing Health Department to Ban Certain Carrier Oils Used in Vaping Products that have Been Connected to Vaping-Related Illnesses
New Measure Would Also Prohibit Online, Phone and Mail Order Sale of E-Cigarettes
Proposals Build on Governor's Aggressive Actions to Protect New Yorkers from the Dangers of Vaping and Smoking
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, surrounded by national leaders in the fight to combat vaping, today launched a new campaign to ban all flavored nicotine vaping products, including menthol flavors, and to restrict vaping advertisements aimed at youth in the Enacted Budget this year. The Governor's proposed legislation would authorize the State Department of Health to regulate the sale of vaping product carrier oils deemed to be a public health risk. The legislation would also prohibit the online, phone and mail order sale of e-cigarettes; only registered retailers would be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes using those methods. The campaign includes a new hashtag - #NoVapeNY - as well as a petition where New Yorkers can show their support for the legislation and a new website - ny.gov/endvaping - with more information about the proposals.
"The dangers of vaping and flavored e-cigarette products are becoming more apparent by the day, and it would be a tragedy if our successful efforts to combat the tobacco industry were reversed by allowing the vaping industry to get a whole new generation hooked on their products," Governor Cuomo said. "This is a scourge on our state and our nation: if these chemicals don't kill you, you wind up addicted to nicotine. New York is leading the nation in confronting this new and deadly epidemic, and this year we will continue to lead by banning flavored e-cigarette products and vaping ads aimed at youth, helping to keep our children safe and preventing them from forming unhealthy and life-long addictions."
These proposals build on the Governor's aggressive actions to protect New Yorkers from the dangers of vaping and smoking. In 2017, Governor Cuomo expanded the Clean Indoor Air Act to prohibit e-cigarette use in nearly every workplace to protect workers and the public from harmful secondhand tobacco smoke and vaping aerosols. In 2019, e-liquid retailers were required to register with the Department of Taxation and Finance and a 20 percent sales tax on e-liquids will be imposed. In June 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to raise the minimum sales age for tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21 - the law went into effect on November 13, 2019.
Governor Cuomo has also taken action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in New York; warned New Yorkers against e-cigarette use; directed the New York State Department of Health to investigate companies that produce vaping substances; required smoke and vape shops to post warnings advising New Yorkers of the health risks of illegal vape e-cigarettes and e-liquids - all while the federal government stalls on taking effective measures to regulate e-cigarettes; and directed State Police and DOH to immediately partner to ramp up enforcement efforts against retailers who sell to underage yout
From 2014 to 2018 youth use of nicotine e-cigarettes has increased by 160 percent. Nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of all high school students are now using e-cigarettes. Flavored nicotine e-liquids are the principal marketing strategy of the vaping industry. One in five youth believe that nicotine e-cigarettes are both harmless and not addictive.
Ban the Sale of Flavored Nicotine Vaping Products
The Governor introduced legislation banning the sale of all flavored nicotine vaping products, including menthol — an extension of the State's ongoing efforts to reduce youth use of both tobacco and vaping products. With this ban New York continues to lead the charge on limiting the use of flavorings in all vaping products and provide critical support to local communities who are fighting this growing epidemic.
Restrict Vaping Ads Targeted to Youth
The Governor's legislation will restrict vaping-related ads targeted to youth, including those in more traditional forms of advertising such as newspapers and magazines, as well as in digital formats in periodicals, social media and on websites with significant youth viewership. Advertisers will also not be allowed to make vaping product safety claims or pitch vaping products as smoking cessation options without FDA-approval.
Ban Harmful Unregulated Carrier Oils
Following the alarming number of hospitalizations and deaths involving patients who had reported a history of using e-cigarettes or vaping products, Vitamin E acetate — which is sometimes used as an e-liquid diluent — has been identified as a chemical of concern. In order to quickly respond to the proliferation of these dangerous, untested and unregulated chemicals used in vaping related products, the Governor will also advance legislation to empower the Department of Health to ban the sale of vaping carrier oils that include chemicals or ingredients that when inhaled through a vaping device are deemed to be dangerous and a significant public health risk.
This is a scourge on our state and our nation: if these chemicals don't kill you, you wind up addicted to nicotine.
Limit Online Sale of Vaping Products
The current sale of e-liquids and e-cigarettes through online, phone and mail order allows underage youth to purchase products unlawfully and circumvent sales taxes. Therefore, the Governor will advance legislation restricting the online, phone and mail order sale of e-liquids and e-cigarettes only to licensed vaping product retailers. Only registered retailers would be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes using those methods. This restriction, which already applies to the sale of conventional tobacco products, will help stop the illegal sale of dangerous vaping products to underage purchasers.
End the Sale of Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products in Pharmacies
Healthcare-related entities should not be in the business of selling tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in New York State. Ending the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products in pharmacies will help reduce the availability, visibility and social acceptability of tobacco use, especially to youth.
Prohibit the Use of Coupons for Tobacco and Nicotine Products
Research indicates that the price of tobacco products is closely tied to prevalence, especially among youth who are almost twice as "price sensitive" as adults. As a result, New York has the highest state excise tax on cigarettes and one of the lowest youth smoking rates in the nation. But the tobacco industry is also fully aware of the effect of price on smoking rates and invests nearly 85% of its over $9 billion a year marketing budget on price-reducing promotions including direct to consumer coupons and in-store discounts. These discounts undermine the public health impact of New York's tax and prohibiting coupons and discounts would eliminate an important source of industry price manipulation.
Abe Baker-Butler, Co-Founder Students Against Nicotine said, "Students Against Nicotine applauds Governor Cuomo's meaningful and broad array of policy proposals to end the teen e-cigarette epidemic. We have watched our friends become addicted to vaping devices with horrific health effects and a variety of dangerous chemical components, and we have seen e-cigarette companies appealing directly to our peers with whimsical flavors and other deceptive marketing methods for years. Ranging from a flavor ban to marketing restrictions to stronger enforcement mechanisms, this proposal will go a long way toward preventing teen e-cigarette use, combatting addiction, and protecting the public health of our generation for years to come. We are proud to have worked with the Governor on the development of these proposals, and look forward to continuing this advocacy with NYS legislators."
Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said, "Gov. Cuomo continues to be a leader in the fight against tobacco and for kids. The proposal to end the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes is a dramatic and necessary step forward to stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic that threatens to reverse decades of progress that New York has made in combating tobacco use. Passage of this legislation will be a tremendous victory for New York's kids and protect them from nicotine addiction and other health risks associated with e-cigarette use. We look forward to working with Gov. Cuomo and other state leaders to enact this historic legislation."
Mary Ruth Buchness, MD, President, New York County Medical Society, said, "The physician community in New York applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking steps to eliminate vape products within the context of the New York budget. Products like "Cotton Candy" and "Captain Crunch" are obviously targeted to entice teens to vape and should not be available to our youth. As we attempt to stop this growing public health crisis in New York, the Medical Society of the State of New York fully supports the ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The health of our children is at stake."
Sarah Ravenhall, Executive Director of the New York State Association of County Health Officials, said, "New York State's 58 local health departments are the front line of defense in the fight against tobacco related illnesses. Everyday we see the disastrous impacts tobacco products have on our communities. Governor Cuomo's sweeping proposal is a tremendous step forward that will save lives and prevent thousands of debilitating illnesses. We enthusiastically support his plan and ask the Legislature to swiftly pass it into law."
NYS PTA President Lorey A. Zaman said, "We are proud to fully support the Governor's proposal to ban the sale of flavored ecigarettes and flavored e-liquids. According to New York State Department of Health, nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of all NYS high school students are now using ecigarettes and NYS high school vaping use today is 160 percent higher than it was in 2014."
NYS PTA Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky said, "Did you know that ecigarettes are shockingly available in more than 15,000 fruit and candy flavors? Eliquid flavors such as gummy bear and cotton candy are intentionally targeted to children and youth. Our children don't understand the harms of vaping, they don't understand the lifetime of lung disease they face, nor the cancer risks, and they don't understand the risk of death, yes death, due to vaping."
Elie Ward, MSW, Director of Policy & Advocacy for New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, said, "New York's pediatricians want to see NYS ban all flavored tobacco products, starting with all flavored vaping products. Products beyond JUUL are already more popular among youth than the original e-cigarette products that the public knows. The swift and unregulated expansion of flavored vaping products has increased the dangers for younger and younger children and adolescents. Our pediatricians are seeing children as young as 12 already addicted to tobacco. Their addiction traced directly to the use of flavored vaping products. NYSAAP supports a full package of tobacco control initiatives proposed in the Governor's package, including the ban on flavors, limits on where tobacco products can be sold, how they can be advertised and all other legal limitations on all flavored tobacco products. We strongly encourage the Governor and the legislature to work together and agree to, pass and sign legislation to ban all flavored vaping products now. The children and adolescents in New York need our help now to stop the epidemic of flavored tobacco addiction."