Cuomo Orders NY Health Department To Ban Flavored E-Cigs

A vaping-related illness has sparked concern among health officials. Photo by Lindsay Fox.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Sunday an executive order mandating the New York State Department of Health to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in response to a new vaping-related illness spreading nationally.

The order requires DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to hold an emergency meeting with the Public Health and Health Planning Council this week to enact the ban. Cuomo also directed State Police and DOH to jointly increase enforcement against retailers who sell e-cigarettes to minors. And he is advancing a bill to ban deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to teens and children.

“Manufacturers of fruit and candy-flavored e-cigarettes are intentionally and recklessly targeting young people, and today we’re taking action to put an end to it,” Cuomo said. “At the same time, unscrupulous stores are knowingly selling vaping products to underage youth. Those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted.”

The move comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently issued a health advisory warning of a vaping-related illness that federal health officials are investigating how and why people are getting sick. At least two people are Long Island were reportedly treated. Nearly 400 people were affected nationwide and six people died, according to the CDC.