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April 3, 2020

New York Bans Flavored Vaping Products With No Public Debate

The New York State Assembly has passed a bill that will outlaw sales of flavored vaping products (except tobacco), and prohibit online sales of all vaping products. The bill was part of the larger budget bill that keeps the state running, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign it into law immediately.

The state did not ban menthol cigarettes or flavored cigars—just vapor products.

The ban was passed with no public debate. As we reported earlier this week, the legislators mostly met by video conference. The online sales ban and a loophole that will favor JUUL and products made by tobacco companies were added with no opportunity for comment by citizens.

The law includes an exemption for flavored products approved for sale by the FDA through its Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) process. That was included after lobbying by either JUUL Labs or the tobacco companies that sell e-cigarettes (Reynolds, Japan Tobacco, Imperial). No vaping products have been approved by the FDA yet, and it isn’t known if the FDA will approve any flavored products.

The flavor ban will take effect 45 days after the governor signs it. The other parts of the law are effective July 1. They include:

  • Online sales of all vaping products are banned
  • Pharmacies are no longer allowed to sell any nicotine-containing product except FDA-approved cessation products
  • Coupons for vaping and tobacco products are banned
  • Manufacturers must post ingredient lists and detailed technical information about e-liquid and vapor constituents (this doesn’t apply to smoked tobacco products)

More than 10 percent of all U.S. residents will be prohibited from buying flavored vaping products when New York’s ban takes effect. New York will become the fourth state to ban flavors. Massachusetts prohibited all flavored products last November. New Jersey passed its ban in January, and Rhode Island followed last week. New York City passed a ban in December, but the new state law will take effect before the city’s. San Francisco was the first city to ban flavors, and then banned all vaping products last year. Many other California cities have passed bans on flavors or on all vaping products.

The flavor ban was proposed by the governor, who has earned national attention for his management of the terrible coronavirus epidemic in New York, has been a longtime opponent of vaping. He has supported flavor ban proposals in previous legislative sessions, but vaping consumers and business owners have successfully fought every attempt to ban flavors until now, when it was done during the cover of night with no opportunity to register opposition.

Last fall, Cuomo directed the state health department to impose an emergency ban of flavored vaping products. That action that was first put on hold by the courts, and eventually struck down entirely.

As trade organizations and advocates study the law, consider options and plot strategy, it’s important for vaping consumers to contact Gov. Cuomo and register their anger and disgust—not just with the ban itself, but with the process that silenced vapers’ voices. CASAA has issued a call to action that puts the governor just a click away.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy


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Thomas Early
Thomas Early

I know this is about NY but the flavor ban just went into effect here in NJ as well. I’m 66 years old and don’t need some government bureaucrat telling me what flavors I can purchase. I have been looking for a list of all the politicians in NJ who voted in favor of this ban so I can at least vote against them but that has been hard to come by. I was a smoker who switched to vaping about 10 years ago and it probably saved my life. I absolutely hate what they did here. It’s shades of… Read more »

Ed B
Ed B

Tha God Andrew Cuumo does not want to run for president.We would really be screwed then

Andrey Janishewskiy
Andrey Janishewskiy

At that time, as the New York to combat the epidemic Covid-19 politician are pushing the situation and its own laws in place to combat the epidemic.


NY vapers need to band together and push for the same for all tobacco products. All this is showing that their decisions are influenced by money. Period.

Ed B
Ed B

I cannot believe the states are pushing for flavor bans when people are dying.Who knows…the lung injuries that people were getting that they claim was caused by vaping or tainted thx oils might very well be caused by this virus and not by tainted thx oils or anything to do with vaping.After all vapings been here for years and we never had lung issues before this pandemic.I have read this virus has likely been in the US since last winter but was not detected until recently.This virus is what have may have been causing lung injuries concerning vaping when they… Read more »

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