Members of the vaping community protested Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes Tuesday saying the move will cut thousands of jobs and will force long-time smokers, who used flavored vapes to kick their habit, back to traditional cigarettes.
“Lives were saved by watermelon and strawberry,” said Spike Babain, a board member with the New York State Vapor Association, in between puffs of a peach flavored vape that’s kept her off cigarettes for over a decade.
The NYSVA — a trade group representing 700 independent vape shops across the state, nearly 4,000 of their employees and hundreds of thousands of customers — held a series of events across the state to fight the ban Cuomo proposed on Sunday. It went into effect late Tuesday after the Public Health and Health Planning Council voted to implement it.
New York vape shops and bodegas have a two week grace period before enforcement begins but are immediately barred from selling all flavored vape products until the order expires in 90 days. If they’re caught with any flavored e-liquids, retailers will be fined $2,000 per unit.
“We are a scapegoat,” Babain told The Post.
Khristina Narizhnaya, Bernadette Hogan and Gabrielle Fonrouge – New York Post – September 17, 2019.