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State appeals court blocks NY's ban on flavored e-cigarettes

National Public Radio

A state appeals court has temporarily blocked New York from enforcing its new ban on sales of flavored e-cigarettes. The order issued Thursday gives the court time to consider the vaping industry's lawsuit to block the ban. It comes a day before the state planned to start enforcing 90-day emergency regulations banning the sale of most flavored electronic cigarettes.

“We are very pleased with the New York State Appellate Division’s decision, which acknowledges the strength of our claims about the State’s executive overreach, and which preserves the ability of hundreds of small businesses to remain open and continue to serve their adult customers," said Tony Abboud, executive director of the Vapor Technology Association, the trade representative. "The New York State Legislature, instead of enacting a flavor ban, already has decided to address concerns about youth vaping by raising the minimum age for vapor products from 18 to 21 and imposing a major tax increase."

Abboud said the industry remains ready to work with the state "on the many real solutions that should be implemented to achieve the twin goals of restricting youth vaping, which already is illegal, and preserving flavored alternatives for adults desperately trying to quit smoking.”

Supporters of a ban, such as the American Cancer Society's advocacy group, say kids are getting addicted to e-cigarettes.

New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says the court's decision won't deter officials from addressing this "public health emergency" that "demands immediate action."

"It is undeniable that the vaping industry is using flavored e-cigarettes to get young people hooked on potentially dangerous and deadly products," said Zucker. "While the court’s ruling temporarily delays our scheduled enforcement of this ban, it will not deter us from using every tool at our disposal to address this crisis."

States such as Michigan and Rhode Island have alread moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes. President Trump has proposed a federal ban.

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