Gov. Cuomo calls for ban of flavored electronic cigarettes in New YorkPosted: Updated:
Amid vaping health concerns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, an unsettling announcement for small businesses who sell the product.
Michael Bowers says vaping products in his Yonkers store, Vape Cave, are clearly labeled. He strictly enforces the minimum age of 21. But, he says, Cuomo's proposal to ban flavored e-cigarettes may shut down his store.
"They are pointing the finger in the wrong direction," he said.
Gov. Cuomo announced Monday vape shops will be required to post warnings of the dangers of smoking e-cigarettes, and that the state's Department of Health is launching an investigation into companies producing vaping substances.
Forty-one New Yorkers have come down with lung illnesses after vaping.
"Our guidance is quite simple," Gov. Cuomo said. "Don't do it, don't do it. Because we don't know that it is safe."
Bowers argues it is not the products on his shelves making people sick, but the products on the streets.
All of the New York cases have been tied to black market cannabis vaping pens.
Some also worry that flavors are marketed toward teens and hook a new generation of smokers. But Bowers believes instead of removing flavoring, local municipalities should do a better job of enforcing laws restricting the sale of vaping products to minors, which is something the Rockland County Health Department says it does regularly.
Yonkers could be the first city in New York to ban e-cigarette flavors.