Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new $117 billion budget signed last April, has set in place some questionable measures. Amongst other things, it banned flavoured vaping products and has abandoned the proposal to legalize marijuana products. “The coronavirus isn’t just an excuse to implement bad policies with little or no debate. Officials can also use the situation to abandon good reforms,” pointed out an article on Reason.
“The budget implements a number of bad regulations while abandoning or scaling back some good ones. And the whole budget was hammered out behind closed doors and passed with very little discussion or debate,” added the article.
New York become the 4th State to ban flavours
The CASAA explained that any flavoured products that have received a premarket approval order (PMTA) from the FDA, are exempt from the ban, and listed other implications of this measure as follows:
“Effective July 1, 2020
- Pharmacies are no longer allowed to sell any tobacco or nicotine product that isn’t an approved smoking cessation therapy.
- Online sales of any e-liquids–regardless of flavor–are banned (vapor products are folded into the same provision that bans shipment of cigarettes to consumers). This does not include components or devices. The penalty for selling or shipping a vapor product to a consumer in NY is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a fine of $5000 or $100 per vapor product.
- A person other than a common or contract carrier can still transport vapor. products, but there is now a limit of 500 milliliters or 3 grams of nicotine.
- Coupons or “price reduction instruments” for tobacco products are banned.
- Vapor manufacturers must post a detailed ingredient list including a disclosure of “the nature and extent of investigations and research performed by or for the manufacturer concerning the effects on human health of such product or its ingredients.” Manufacturers are also required to list “each byproduct that may be introduced into vapor produced during the normal use of such e-cigarette.” NOTE: This requirement does not apply to any other tobacco product.
- Tobacco, nicotine, and vapor products and marketing materials visible in storefronts and ads on exterior windows are banned within 1500ft of a school (500ft for New York City).”
Meanwhile, in line with previous research, a recent large scale peer reviewed study published in the Harm Reduction Journal last Summer, seemed to confirm that restricting e-liquid flavours may discourage smokers from switching to the proven safer alternatives which could save their life.
Meanwhile science keeps indicating that such bans will prove detrimental to public health, as adults turn to flavours to quit smoking. In line with previous studies, a recent paper by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, has shown that adults like candy-flavoured e-cigarettes too.
“Our data show that flavors aren’t just popular with the youth, but with adults as well,” said lead author and associate professor of medicine and public health sciences, Dr. Ping Du. “Many of the participants in our study indicated that they used e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking or avoid relapse, and these flavors may be part of the reason why they end up using e-cigarettes in the long term,” she said.
Flavoured e-cigs play a main role in smoking cessation
To conduct the study, the researchers compared results of online surveys given out to e-cigarette users between 2012 and 2014, and between 2017 and 2019. Both surveys had asked respondents (383 aged between 22 and 75 years) to name their preferred e-liquid flavour.
The compiled data indicated that all ages preferred chocolate, candy and other sweet flavours, and about 50% of the participants said that if their favourite flavours were made unavailable via bans, they would still find a way to purchase them.