New York City is poised to bar all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes and e-liquids, meaning it would be sayonara for all the good vape flavors—and yes, that means menthol too.
The legislation would ban the sale of flavored e-cigs and e-liquids—including menthol, mint, and wintergreen—in New York City and would bar retailers from having six or more flavored e-cigs or an excess of 12 fluid ounces of e-liquids in their possession on the presumption of intent to sell. The New York City Council Health Committee voted in favor of the bill on Monday, and the city council approved the legislation on Tuesday. Now, Mayor Bill de Blasio will either sign the bill or let allow it to pass into law, CNBC reported.
City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine, who introduced the legislation, congratulated the vote on Twitter, citing nicotine addiction and use among youth.
“In the face of intense resistance from Big Tobacco and their allies, [city council] just voted, 42-2, to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes,” Levine said. “No longer will kids in this city be lured into nicotine addiction by the easy availability of flavored vapes. So proud of my colleagues.”
Youth use of vapor nicotine products has shot up in recent years, a fact that’s prompted health officials to point the finger at companies like Juul that sold sweet and fruity flavors for easily concealable, USB-style devices. (The company has faced numerous lawsuits and investigations into its marketing as well, which officials say targeted kids.) The company has responded by pulling those flavors from sale in stores, then online, and now only sells its tobacco and menthol flavored-pods in the U.S.
Earlier this year, it appeared the Trump administration was preparing to enforce a federal ban on all flavored e-cigarettes, a threat that has since fallen apart entirely as President Donald Trump waffles on whether or not to actually move on it. In typical word salad parlance, Trump said last week during a meeting at the White House that any flavor ban would facilitate bootlegged and potentially harmful black market products.
“If you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally,” Trump said at the time.
New York City health officials, however, have made their position clear. In a statement by email, Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot called this week’s vote “a win for the health of New Yorkers.”
“Flavors like mint mask the dangerousness of a deadly product and we can do more to protect the city’s children,” Barbot said. “E-cigarettes are addicting a new generation to nicotine and can expose young people to toxic and cancer-causing chemicals, like formaldehyde and benzene. Banning flavors puts a stop to the industry’s tactics and treats e-cigarettes as the harmful products they are.”
RIP menthol. RIP flavors. RIP my beloved Juul.