Former smokers may begin smoking again if flavored e-cigarette ban passes in Suffolk County, NY.
Online PR News – 12-December-2018 – Suffolk County, NY – Suffolk County Legislature is moving at breakneck speed to pass a local law prohibiting the sale of flavored vapor products. The proposal, which would only permit the sale of vapor products in tobacco, menthol, and mint flavors, will be debated in the health committee December 13, with a full vote possible as early as December 18.
New York State Vapor Association, representing 700 small, independent vape businesses statewide, submitted testimony urging the Committee to reject the ban. "Elected officials should not ignore the voices of over 10,000 Suffolk County adults who use flavored vapor products to remain smokefree," stated Cheryl Richter, Executive Director of NYSVA.
"Flavors are vital to helping adult smokers disconnect from the taste of tobacco. Instead of bans that we know will harm adults, county legislators should focus on better enforcement of existing sales restrictions, including more policing of fake IDs, and education of parents and teenagers."
Suffolk County's proposal goes far beyond directives recently announced by the US Food and Drug Administration. Last month, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared that flavored vapor products would only be permitted to be sold in adult-only brick and mortar locations, and online with strict age verification. Commissioner Gottlieb acknowledged that vape shops do a much better job of preventing sales to minors. He described his policy shift as "a very careful public health balance," which will decrease availability of vapor products to youth while also still allowing adults to access safer products.
The proposed Suffolk County law would prohibit sales of these products in all retail stores countywide, including the age-restricted vapor retailers that FDA has praised for combating youth access.
NYSVA President Michael Frennier stated, "The 50-plus vape shops in Suffolk are on the front lines helping smokers switch to better lives. Flavors are used by more than two-thirds of vapers and represent between 75-85% of all sales in vape shops."
"When the shops close, vapers trying to stay off cigarettes and smokers looking to quit will be left with no alternative," says Frennier, who doubts retail shops will be able to survive if this ban passes.