New York has officially banned flavored electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes” as they are sometimes called, in the wake of a nationwide epidemic of people getting sick and dying after using electronic vaporizer devices.
Vaping has been a thing for years now. Users make use of an electronic device, which in many cases resembles a pen, to heat an oil containing nicotine — or in some cases THC — and then inhale the vapor. In the case of nicotine, often the oil is flavored, with flavors such as strawberry, watermelon, caramel, or any number of others being popular.
However, as reported this week by The Inquisitr, in the past few weeks hundreds of people across the country have come down with severe respiratory illnesses after vaping, and seven have died. At least one death is known to have occurred from vaping THC, while the rest could be due to vaping nicotine or THC. Similarly, at least some of the illnesses can be traced to vaping THC, while others are likely due to vaping nicotine.
It’s that flavored oil, says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo via NBC News, that is attracting people to “vaping” — young people in particular.
“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,” he said.
To that end, Cuomo says, New York has officially banned flavored e-cigarettes, if for no other reason than to keep them from teens and kids.
“New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits,” he said.
Michigan and California, as well as the federal government, have also made noises about banning flavored e-cigarettes. In Michigan, the legislature and governor are hammering out the specifics, while in California, Governor Gavin Newsom has said that flavored e-cigarettes should be banned. However, it doesn’t appear as if the California legislature has moved to enact such a ban, as yet. Similarly, the Trump administration has directed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop allowing the sale of flavored nicotine oil, but the process could take months to implement and will almost certainly be challenged in court.
This week, a California patient became the seventh person nationwide to have died after vaping.