“Manufacturers of fruit and candy-flavoured e-cigarettes are intentionally and recklessly targeting young people, and today we’re taking action to put an end to it. Names like, ‘Bubble-gum’, ‘Cotton Candy’, ‘Captain Crunch’, these are obviously targeted to young people and highly effective at targeting young people,” said Cuomo at the hastily gathered press conference.
Cuomo issued a strong warning to people selling flavoured juices: “Those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted.” Presumably that will be by using the same hugely successful methods that have failed to prevent retailers illegally selling cigarettes, cigars and eliquids to teens in the past?
“It is addicting young people to nicotine at a very early age and nicotine is highly addictive. It doesn’t even matter what product you are using. It is getting young people addicted to nicotine,” added Cuomo. “The only situation, in my mind, factually, that justifies vaping is if you had a person that said, ‘I currently smoke, and I have tried every other device to stop smoking. I’ve tried everything. Nothing has worked, except vaping.’”
So, that would be 99% of people vaping then, Andrew, which includes most teen vapers?
Vincent Provenzano, retail store manager at Vapers Choice USA, commented: “We will not lay down and take it. We know this is about money, greed and corruption and not about public health. Call the governor’s office. Tell them your story. Make your voices heard.”
Confusion and worry reigns as vape store owners face going out of business. The NYC Smoke Shop & Vape Shop obtains 50% of its income from vape products and eliquids. Worker Ashif Lakhani said: “These kinds of stores, which do the age verification should be given a fair chance, rather than this online stuff, which nobody knows who's buying.”
The Cuomo administration has been embroiled in scandal for the last two years with accusations of corruption and the governor’s ex-aide being convicted on bribery charges. Questions will legitimately be raised over how much influence East 79th Street dwelling billionaire Michael Bloomberg has had on this recent announcement. That, and the part the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement bonds tanking in value is playing.
If the Public Health and Health Planning Council approves Cuomo’s plan later today the legislation will take immediate effect. Retailers will be given TWO WEEKS to clear all stock. The only thing “dangerous” going on here is the cavalier approach to the lives of those addicted to tobacco and those who face going back to it.