New York City might become the first large city in America to ban flavored e-cigs.
NBC reports that the City Council’s Health committee unanimously voted in support of the legislation, and was expected to formally vote on the bill Tuesday.
The bill, introduced by Council Member and Health Committee Chair Mark Levine, would prohibit the sales of flavored electronic smoking products, including both electronic cigarettes and e-liquids. This would include flavors such as mint, wintergreen, and menthol.
Levine stared a statement, which read, “With this vote, the City Council is moving to ban the fruity, minty, candy-like flavors of e-cigarettes which were clearly designed to appeal to young people in the first place.”
News of this comes within a week of Gov. Cuomo announcing the second vaping-associated illness in New York. The latest death was a Manhattan man with a history of vaping and using e-cigs. The man was in his 30’s.
New York’s first vaping-associated illness was also from someone within the five boroughs. The first vaping-associated death was a 17-year-old male from the Bronx.
Gov. Cuomo has made it clear that, New York as a state is taking e-cigarettes very seriously and said in a statement, last week that “DOH is continuing its robust investigation into the cause of these illnesses, but in the meantime our message on vaping remains unchanged: if you don’t know what you’re smoking, don’t smoke it.”
Gov. Cuomo continued, “We are taking every step possible to combat this crisis on the state level, but the federal government needs to take action now.”
Mayor de Blasio filed a lawsuit against 22 national online e-cigarette vendor who sell items to underaged New Yorkers. He said in a statement that, “The kids of New York are the pride of our city, but to these companies, they’re just a source of profit. Preying on minors and hooking them on a potentially lethal, lifelong nicotine addiction is unconscionable.”
De Blasio added that, “This lawsuit sends a message: we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids and the health of our city.”
New York recently raised the age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.