NY Ordered To Reimburse VTA

Posted 11th November 2020 by Dave Cross
Vape shops and the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) trade body funded a legal fight back against New York’s anti-science vape ban. The judge found in their favour and declared that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attempt at prohibition was “unconstitutional” and ordered the state to pay the full fees and costs incurred by the harm reduction advocates.

The VTA “represents the manufacturers, wholesalers, small business owners and entrepreneurs who have developed innovative and quality vapor products, providing adult consumers with a better alternative to traditional combustible products.”

It says that it strives to:

  • Promote greater public health through smart regulations and responsible public policies
  • Transform the public debate around the vapor industry and dispel distorted and misleading information about vapor products
  • Keep the vapor market open and competitive across the board
  • Protect small business owners and their employees by ensuring the long-term viability of the vapor industry

Governor Cuomo has made it his mission to go after the vape industry over the last couple of years [link] [link], and once famously said: “Is vaping better than smoking? Technically, yes. But, so what?” [link]

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis made her ruling in favour of the VTA the other week, in relation to the emergency ban that preceded the eventual ban, declaring that the state had exceeded its authority. As a result, she decreed, New York has to reimburse the trade body.

Unfortunately, she noted: “[New York’s action] was in response to the serious problems of underage vaping and pulmonary illnesses traced to vaping. There can be no denying the seriousness of the health issues surrounding vaping. Concern for those issues, however, cannot excuse clearly unconstitutional action.”

The Electronic Cigarette Company

She described the amount of money the VTA was asking for was “an eye-popping sum”, questioning how they managed to spend so much even factoring in the cost of litigation in New York.

People were quick to use the decision as threats against other governors seeking to enact similar measures.

Moose Joose Vape Shops warned Senator Ed McBroom: “I’m first in line to sue over regulatory taking of my business. Is Bloomberg going to give the state the $500M that it’s going to cost you to ban flavors? Governor Whitmer does Bloomberg’s bidding...please stand up for Michigan adults. If you allow a flavour ban, 500 stores will go under...it is a regulatory taking and would cost MI taxpayers between $250-$500 MILLION! My stores would cost $3million...and I’ll show/help EVERY VAPER how to make flavoured liquid, as would every other Michigan vape shop owner.”

Advocate Charles Gardner added: “Not to mention, the average US vape shop helps more than 5 smokers quit each month (most report much more than that). So, 500 Michigan vape shops help at least 30,000 Michigan smokers quit each year. Smoking kills people. 'Flavor' bans will just cause teen vapers to shift to smoking or THC.”

Related:

  • Vapor Technology Association –[link]

Image by Horst Schwalm from Pixabay

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 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
ALD Group