Cuomo ramps up anti-vape initiatives

Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Kevin P. Coughlin
Gov. Cuomo launches a new campaign that would restrict the vaping industry from targeting young people and would ban all flavored vaping products.

The new measures would restrict advertising targeted towards young people; ban all flavored vaping products and carrier oils; and prohibit online, phone and mail order purchases. The governor also launched a social media hashtag, “#NoVapeNY,” that has drawn a lot of support as well as some backlash to the campaign.

The ramped up anti-vaping action began last year after people around the country began developing illnesses and disease, in some cases fatal, related to frequent e-cigarette and vape usage. The New York Department of Health has received a total of 246 reports of vaping-related pulmonary illnesses and four deaths as of Feb. 18. Nationally, 2,758 cases of hospitalization have been reported, with 64 deaths confirmed.

“I want my colleagues in the legislature to know, in the Assembly and the Senate, this is literally a matter of life and death,” Cuomo said. “Every day more kids are getting addicted. This is a top priority.”

These lung conditions, referred to as E-Cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), peaked in Sept. 2019 and have been declining since. Vape industry sales fell sharply in Sept. 2019 by 26 percent, just one month after the industry’s peak in August, and have continued to decline due to health concerns and government regulations.

The vaping industry is upset by these new initiatives, especially since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the majority of EVALI cases are caused by black market marijuana products containing vitamin E acetate, not commercial nicotine products.