DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB)–A nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarettes, that President Trump said he would support earlier this year, now seems to be dead.
In the face of blistering criticism by the vaping industry, the president says he believes the issue needs further study, but U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is asking Mr. Trump to reconsider.
Vaping companies admit flavored products are their best sellers, and Sen. Schumer cited mounting evidence that e-cigarette makers are marketing those products to kids, and cited some of the more popular flavors.
“Bubble Gum, Cookies and Cream, Gummy Bear, Strawberry Quik, Pancake Man. Those are not aimed at courting the average adult.”
New York’s senior senator met with Depew High School students, and their youth advisors, Monday, to set the table for getting flavored vaping products off the market, or at least out of the hands of kids.
Now that President Trump is deferring executive action, Schumer says lawmakers in Washington have a bipartisan agenda, including a measure called the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids (SAFE Kids) Act.
“I am urging the President to not listen to these advisors who say to leave it alone, but to ban the kid-friendly flavors and advertising aimed at kids.”
Schumer was accompanied by Elizabeth Bork, President of For Our Community Unity and Support (FOCUS), an addiction prevention community group, who refuted the notion that vaping is an alternative to smoking.
“Sixty-six percent of our youth think that e-cigarettes are just flavoring, not nicotine, and 30 percent will start smoking within 6 months.”
((I don’t think there is any reason why we should tell adults whether they should use a flavored product or unflavored.))
But former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra who now lobbies on behalf of the vaping industry said a new state law just took effect last week that bans the sale of vaping products to anyone under the age of 21, which he believes is a better deterrent than outlawing flavored e-cigarettes.
Giambra said a flavor ban Giambra would be just a fruitless as a prohibition, “We know from history does not work, and any bill to prohibit this product will, I believe and this industry believes, will cause more problems than it will solve.”
Vaping statistics, in the midst of this debate however, are stark. The Centers for Disease Control reports more than 21-hundred vaping-related lung injuries, and 42 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states, including New York.
The New York Department of Health issued an emergency order banning the sale of flavored vaping products, except for menthol and tobacco, but the Vaping Technology Association got a restraining order, last month, putting enforcement on hold indefinitely.