Cuomo announced his intention to implement a ban back in September. “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. “Retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted.”
“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.’”
The VTA argued through its legal team that the state’s Department of Health had exceeded its authority with the bans. It said that the action would force (what Cuomo called) “unscrupulous vaping companies” to close.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis was hardly effusive in her support of harm reduction though, she said: “Of course, nothing in this decision, order and judgment should be read as in any way trivialising the concern that the availability of flavoured e-liquids may well be contributing to the spread of nicotine addiction among our youth. Rather, this court's holding on the present motion is limited to the recognition that there is a likelihood that petitioners (the vaping industry) will ultimately succeed in proving that the emergency regulation is an impermissible administrative transgression into territory that is reserved to our Legislature by the state Constitution.”
“The spate of illnesses and deaths attributable to pulmonary disease brought on by vaping has only recently come into public consciousness, though vaping has existed in its current form for more than a decade, and the significant rise in teenage use of vaping materials has only recently reached the point where, according to (the Health Department's) evidence, one in four high school students has engaged in the activity.”
This is the second time Cuomo’s nonsense has hit the buffers; New York’s appellate court made a temporary order preventing him from banning flavoured eliquids.
Cuomo’s administration called the ruling “unfortunate” and announced plans to investigate other avenues “to address the public health concerns related to vaping”.