New York Moves to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes by Emergency Order

Amid a surge of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced on Sunday that he would pursue emergency regulations this week to quickly ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

The governor’s action comes days after President Trump announced an effort to ban similar vaping products on a federal level. If New York does ban flavored e-cigarettes, it would become the second state to do so, following Michigan, which issued a prohibition earlier this month.

Speaking from his office in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Cuomo described a growing “health crisis,” likening it to past illnesses related to traditional tobacco products.

“Vaping is dangerous. Period,” the governor, a third-term Democrat, said, outlining a variety of potential health concerns associated with the practice, including encouraging nicotine addiction. “No one can say long-term use of vaping — where you’re inhaling steam and chemicals deep into your lungs — is healthy.”

Under the plan outlined by Mr. Cuomo on Sunday, the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council, a little-known regulatory body, would be convened by the health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker. The council would then issue an emergency regulation to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, rules that would be effective immediately.

State and federal actions on the flavored e-cigarettes come as health officials around the country continue to grapple with an outbreak of a severe lung disease linked to vaping. At least six deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations have been reported.

Dr. Zucker said New York State had 64 cases of the lung disease linked to vaping and that the numbers were continuing to grow. “We need to tackle this as fast as possible,” Dr. Zucker said, adding, “We don’t need to repeat history.”

Tobacco and menthol-flavored products would not be covered by the ban, the governor said, citing evidence that those menthol products could assist in helping people to stop smoking traditional cigarettes.

The decision not to include menthol on the list of potentially banned products drew a sharp rebuke from the American Lung Association, which said Mr. Cuomo had missed “the opportunity to take decisive action.”

“While today’s announcement was well-intentioned, it will drive our youth to use menthol-flavored products in even greater numbers,” said Harold Wimmer, the association’s president, calling on the state Legislature to pursue a broader ban on all flavored tobacco products.

Austin Finan, a spokesman for Juul Labs, which dominates the e-cigarette market, said that the company was reviewing the governor’s announcement but agreed “with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products,” saying it had already stopped selling flavored pods in “traditional retail stores.”

The company “will fully comply with local laws and the final F.D.A. policy when effective,” Mr. Finan added.

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