Of the members of the PHHPC who voted, only Dr. Howard S. Berliner (Director of Health Policy for the Service Employees International Union) and Dr. Glenn Martin (an associate dean at Mount Sinai School of Medicine) voted no. Before voting no, Dr. Martin explained, “I’m sorry, I’m just not convinced this is an emergency” and noted that the Department of Health was essentially conducting a “big public health experiment.”
The AVA note that according to the measure, the ban will not go into effect until it is filed with the Department of State, but the Department of Health previously indicated enforcement will not begin for about two weeks. After 90 days, the emergency measure will expire and it will have to be passed again by the PHHPC to remain effective.
The New York State Vapor Association estimates 700 vapor-focused businesses throughout New York could be closed because of this ban.
Gregory Conley, President of the AVA, released the following statement: “Prohibition has never worked in this country and it will once again fail miserably in the State of New York. There is blood on the hands of the unelected bureaucrats who fiddled with their phones while members of the public explained how this ban would cause disastrous public health consequences. Make no mistake about, a flavor ban will send a significant number of adult vapers back to smoking, which is an outcome that even the American Cancer Society recently said would be disastrous.”
“There is a reason why the majority of adult ex-smokers who vape use fruit and sweet flavours, while only a very small portion use tobacco or menthol. Fruit and sweet flavours help adult smokers disconnect from the taste of smoking. Tobacco flavours, on the other hand, are actually linked to dual use, which is continuing to use both cigarettes and vaping products.”
“A ban on flavoured vaping products will do absolutely nothing to address the very real and immediate public health emergency of contaminated marijuana oil cartridges sending New Yorkers to the hospital. New York bureaucrats and Gov. Cuomo have learned nothing about the reality of prohibition from these illnesses. Just like with marijuana, banning flavored vaping products is not going to reduce usage, but will instead push people to black and gray markets.”
“We have a message for the vapers of New York — please do not relapse to smoking. Visit your local vape shop and find out what their plans are. If it comes to it, there is nothing illegal about you as a consumer importing products into the state. If you look hard enough, you will find a vaper outside New York willing to risk jail time to make sure craven unelected bureaucrats aren’t allowed to send you back to smoking.”
“In the end, today’s vote was not about health. It was about protecting $1 billion a year in New York cigarette tax revenue. We look forward to supporting litigation to overturn this illegal and harmful ban.”