New York became the second US state to ban flavored e-cigarettes following several vaping-linked deaths that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking.
A health council passed emergency legislation proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo outlawing flavored vaping products amid an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease that has killed seven people and sickened hundreds.
The ban comes into force with immediate effect. Michigan was the first state to declare a ban earlier this month, but that law has yet to be implemented.
“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,” said Cuomo.
President Donald Trump´s administration announced last week that it would soon ban flavored e-cigarette products to stem a rising tide of youth users.
The move could later be extended to an outright prohibition of vaping if adolescents migrate to tobacco flavors, seen as more legitimate products that help smokers quit their habit, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates e-cigarettes.
“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,” Cuomo added.