US panel approves NY flavoured e-cig ban

New York has become the first US state to ban flavoured e-cigarettes amid growing health concerns.
New York has become the first US state to ban flavoured e-cigarettes amid growing health concerns.

New York has become the first US state to ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes, a move that comes as federal health officials investigate a mysterious surge of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping.

The vote by the state Public Health and Health Planning Council means the prohibition, which covers flavoured e-cigarettes and other vaping products except for menthol and tobacco flavours, goes into effect immediately.

Retailers will have two weeks to remove merchandise from store shelves.

Governor Andrew Cuomo had proposed the emergency ban on Sunday, citing surging use among young people.

According to data from the state health department, nearly 40 per cent of high school seniors and 27 per cent of high school students overall in the state use e-cigarettes.

Use among high-school students went from 10.5 per cent in 2014 to 27.4 per cent in 2018.

Vape shop owners say they're considering a legal challenge to the new regulation, which they say should have gone before lawmakers for hearings, debate and a vote.

But Juul Labs, Inc., the company with the biggest footprint in the industry, has said it agrees with the need for action in the flavoured e-cigarette sector and will comply with any final state and federal regulations.

New York becomes the first state to enact the ban with other states alos considering similar bans.

Nationwide, health officials are investigating hundreds of cases of serious breathing illnesses in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

They have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one territory, including six deaths.

President Donald Trump has proposed a federal ban on flavoured e-cigarettes and vaping products.

Australian Associated Press