New York’s Governor Cuomo Bans the Sale of E-Cigs

Andy+Ma+%E2%80%9920+sees+good+intentions+in+Governor+Cuomo%E2%80%99s+ban%2C+especially+for+young+people+who+may+be+struggling+with+drug+addiction+and+substance+abuse.+
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New York’s Governor Cuomo Bans the Sale of E-Cigs

Andy Ma ’20 sees good intentions in Governor Cuomo’s ban, especially for young people who may be struggling with drug addiction and substance abuse.

Andy Ma ’20 sees good intentions in Governor Cuomo’s ban, especially for young people who may be struggling with drug addiction and substance abuse.

Pamela Li

Andy Ma ’20 sees good intentions in Governor Cuomo’s ban, especially for young people who may be struggling with drug addiction and substance abuse.

Pamela Li

Pamela Li

Andy Ma ’20 sees good intentions in Governor Cuomo’s ban, especially for young people who may be struggling with drug addiction and substance abuse.

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On September 15th, 2019, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a total ban on the sale of flavored E-cigarettes. Governor Cuomo’s decision made New York the first state to enact such a ban on flavored E-cigarettes. Many believe that the ban is the result of a mysterious rise in vaping-related illnesses and deaths. 

With the alarming surge of serious breathing illnesses in E-cigarette and vape device users nationwide, health officials are attempting to understand the culprit of these life-threatening hospitalizations. 

Governor Cuomo’s original ban encompassed all flavored vaping products, excluding menthol and tobacco flavors, and went into effect immediately after being voted on by the state Public Health and Health Planning Council. A week later, on September 26th, 2019, governor Cuomo added menthol flavored E-cigarettes to the list of products in the ban. Retailers were given a two-week notice to comply and remove such merchandise from their businesses. 

The incentive behind the ban, however, according to Governor Cuomo himself, is not so much the sudden outbreak in vaping-related lung-injuries, but rather the vulnerable demographic that he believes the E-cigarette industry targets: children and young adults. 

Cuomo, along with other critics, asserts that the E-cigarette giants like JUUL Labs, Inc. purposely market towards kids and adolescents by promoting name-friendly flavors such as bubblegum and cotton candy. 

Since 2011, the vaping industry has grown in influence on middle and high school students. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2018, nearly 1 of every 20 middle school students reported the use of electronic cigarettes within the last 30 days. For high school students, the numbers are even higher: nearly 1 of every 5 high school students reported the same. Although cigarette smoking has experienced a downward trend from 2011 to 2018, electronic cigarette usage among teenagers and young adults has been climbing in numbers. Despite the life-threatening health effects shown to be associated with the use of tobacco products, young people continue to illegally obtain and use them. 

“I agree that vaping is a serious issue among teens, but we need to consider the possibility that banning E-cigarettes might cause users to resort to illegal sources like a black market rather than vape shops and established businesses. Those consequences are more possible and much worse when there’s a total ban involved,” said Nina Wang ’20.

Since its rise, vaping has remained a pressing issue at high schools across the country. Even Bronx Science students have established their own perspectives on the topic at hand.

“A lot of E-cigarette users are former smokers. I think that banning E-cigarettes, though effective in theory, will only force a huge majority of those ex-smokers to revert back to old habits, such as smoking tobacco cigarettes,” said Nina Wang ’20. “I agree that vaping is a serious issue among teens, but we need to consider the possibility that banning E-cigarettes might cause users to resort to illegal sources like a black market rather than vape shops and established businesses. Those consequences are more possible and much worse when there’s a total ban involved.”

Pamela Li
Nina Wang ’20 believes that a total ban on E-cigarettes and vaping products will mainly bring unintended adverse outcomes, such as an influx of smokers flocking to the black market.

On the other hand, others have supported the ban, championing it as a step forward in preventing and ending nicotine addiction in kids and young adults. “A lot of kids have gotten hooked on nicotine because of E-cigarette usage, and the addiction can be a dangerous gateway to real cigarette smoking and other drugs. Despite the controversy, I think this ban has good intentions,” said Andy Ma ’20.

Regardless of your stance on this nationwide issue, it’s no question that the E-cigarette business and its products have gained a foothold in the lives of many kids and young adults. Combating the vaping epidemic in young people will require social and cultural intervention, as those aspects are the most widely influenced by the issue at hand.

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