NEW York has been given the go-ahead to officially ban all flavoured e-cigarettes as vaping is linked to at least seven deaths.
State governor Andrew Cuomo called for emergency action earlier this week after warning the devices were becoming more popular among teens.
He slammed the flavours, including bubble gum and cotton candy, and urged the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council to consider the proposed ban.
Cuomo added that he was concerned the fruity or sweet e-liquids were leading young people to get hooked on nicotine.
It follows a spike of mysterious and life-threatening lung diseases – believed to be linked to vaping – over the summer.
In the US, seven people are now reported to have died from vaping-related lung illnesses.
The panel today voted to adopt the prohibition, which applies to all flavoured e-cigarettes besides menthol, Cuomo’s office said in a statement.
The state Department of Health pledged to provide retailers with a two-week grace period before conducting site visits to enforce the ban starting on October 7.
New York is the second state in the nation to introduce such a ban, after Michigan did so earlier this month.
Cuomo said: “It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes – it’s a public health crisis and it ends today.”
Speaking on public radio on Monday, he said: “We don’t really know the health consequences of these devices.”
We don’t really know the health consequences of these devices.
The number of high school students using e-cigarettes has more than doubled over the past two years, according to preliminary federal data released last week.
Their research found that 27.5 per cent of school kids reported using an e-cigarette in the past month.
Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to remove all flavoured e-cigarettes from store shelves.
Nearly 400 people around the country have been stricken with a lung illness that is potentially vaping-related, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mystery illness probe
Investigators have said they are trying to understand what causes the illnesses.
Michael Frennier, president of the New York State Vapour Association, criticised the New York ban.
He said the recent spike in deadly lung illnesses was tied to illicit vaping of the marijuana component THC, not use of flavoured nicotine.
Mr Frennier said: “It’s kind of like having a mayonnaise outbreak of E.coli and the politicians come forth and they say ‘We’re going to fix this to protect the people of our state and we’re going to ban peanut butter tomorrow morning’.”
Meanwhile, health officials have warned people against buying vaping products on the street or using marijuana-derived oil.
They have said people should avoid inhaling vitamin E acetate, an ingredient found in some vaping products.
New York state Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker is evaluating a proposal to extend the ban on flavoured e-cigarettes to cover menthol, which was excluded from the prohibition approved on Tuesday, Cuomo’s office said.
How safe are e-cigarettes in the UK?
In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality.
They’re not completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
The liquid and vapour contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.
While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it’s relatively harmless.
Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.
Nicotine replacement therapy has been widely used for many years to help people stop smoking and is a safe treatment.
There’s no evidence so far that vaping causes harm to other people around you.
This is in contrast to secondhand smoke from smoking, which is known to be very harmful to health.
MORE ON VAPING
Juul Labs Inc, the leading US e-cigarette maker, has insisted that it “never marketed to youth, period,” although the company has said it regretted that some of its early advertising “was executed in a way that was perceived as appealing to minors.”
On Tuesday, Juul Labs spokesman Ted Kwong said the company agreed with the need for “aggressive category-wide action on flavoured products,” adding that it “will fully comply with local laws.”
Juul last year pulled many of its flavors from retail stores and suspended its social media accounts in an effort to curb use among teenagers.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.