NYSVA, a trade organization representing independent vape shops in NY, responds to Gov. Cuomo's e-cigarette control measures announced in his 2019 budget.
Online PR News – 14-January-2019 – West Chazy, NY – Saturday, Governor Cuomo announced restrictions on e-cigarettes and vapor products in his proposed 2019 New York State Budget, in an effort to stem use by minors. Included in these proposals are, raising the age of sale to 21; licensing retailers; ending sales at pharmacies; clarifying the Health Department's ability to ban certain flavors; restricting display and packaging to adult-only stores; restricting discounts offered by manufacturers and retailers.
The New York State Vapor Association (NYSVA) is a trade organization representing independent vape shops. NYSVA president, Michael Frennier responded, "We support legislation to keep tobacco and vapor products out of the hands of minors, including retail licensing, stricter penalties for selling to minors, and stringent age verification--avenues that we wish the State would take. Surprisingly, there are no consequences for minors who smoke or vape as there is with underage drinking. Penalties for teen use, and adults who give or sell to minors, would deter many and should be the law."
NYSVA applauds New York for taking steps to help reduce youth smoking rates, but expressed concern that some of the proposals may unintentionally increase smoking rates for youth and adults. NYSVA strongly opposes banning e-liquid flavors because vast research shows flavors are key to an adult's successful transition from combustible tobacco. The NYSVA also opposes raising the age to 21, because it impedes 18-20 year old adults from making the choice to switch to a product that is at least 95% less hazardous than cigarettes (according to Public Health England, which publicly encourages vaping in the UK). Plus, studies from Weill Cornell Medicine, Yale, and the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that raising the age to 21 for vapor products increases the rate of teen cigarette smoking.
"Most of our members are ex-smokers who take the task of helping adults switch to a much less harmful product very seriously, and we don't want to see another generation become addicted to nicotine." Frennier added, "We are hopeful that a balance between adults who need them and minors who shouldn't use them can be met with a common sense approach."