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Health organizations, vaping stores react to Cuomo's flavored e-cigarette ban

{ }(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
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ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - Health organizations and vaping stores are reacting after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York State.

The Department of Health is expected to hold an emergency meeting to get the ban going.

The ban is only on flavors, said to be targeted to kids like “cotton candy and captain crunch.”

Several health organizations applaud the move, but want menthol and mint included in the ban.

“The minute this happens there is no reason for us to be in business,” said Mike Kruger, President & Founder of GottaVape in Schenectady.

Says his store would have to close if the state ban on flavored e cigarettes goes into effect, that they can’t make it on five percent of what they sell.

“90 to 95 percent of vapers are vaping flavored e-liquid products,” said Kruger.

CBS 6 also spoke on the phone with a partner at House of Glass on Madison in Albany.

He says at this time, they don’t know what they are going to do, that the ban would hurt business. But he says they don’t want kids vaping, they only sell to 21 plus.

Right now in Albany and Schenectady counties you have to be 21 to buy nicotine. Statewide, it will go to 21 in November.

“Any action that reduces youth access to flavored tobacco products, we know from the evidence, is going to reduce youth use, said Theresa Zubretsky, Community Engagement Coordinator for Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition.

She says her organization is thrilled with the governor's action, and support it. They just hope that it is expanded to include menthol and other flavored tobacco products.

“With youth use right now in NYS being at more than one in four high school students using e cigarettes within the last 30 days, the need for reducing their access Is very strong,” Zubretsky said.

The American Heart Association is pushing the governor a little stronger to include a ban on menthol, saying that flavor is not harmless.

“It allows you to inhale deeper. So it makes it easier to start your addiction but a lot harder to quit,” said Caitlin O’Brien, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association.

“These products are addicting and they are not healthy for you,” said O’Brien.

On the other side, Kruger shows us where people have stopped smoking by vaping.

He also says these illnesses from vaping being reported, aren’t coming from products at vape stores like his.

“They are coming from an illicit street product that has nothing to do with what is bought in vape shops Those products contain an oil. Our vapor liquid contains water based products only,” said Kruger.

Another store owner told CBS 6, if taken off shelves, there could be a surge in black market product.

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The health organizations say we do not know the long term effects Of inhaling the vaporized form of nicotine but that it is still addictive.

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