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NEW YORK – One member of the New York City Council is hoping to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes.
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) is proposing legislation to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in a bid to prevent the health risks associated with tobacco addiction by targeting flavored e-cigarettes, which may become a gateway to tobacco use. The sale of flavored tobacco products is already restricted.
"This bill continues the consistent public health measures that the council has already laid out towards tobacco products. Flavored e-cigarettes create another avenue that tobacco companies are using to entice children and teenagers into using this potentially dangerous product," he said. "The e-cigarette industry has openly admitted that they are not in the tobacco cessation business. This bill ensures that flavored e-cigarettes are treated the same way as flavored tobacco products and helps prevent children from starting a lifetime of addiction."
Health groups and advocates support the expanding of the city's flavored tobacco laws to apply to flavored e-cigarettes.
However, the American Vaping Association (AVA), a leading advocate for the benefits of e-cigarettes, criticized the bill.
"Studies show that e-cigarettes, particularly flavored kinds, are effective at helping smokers move away from combustible cigarettes," said Gregory Conley, the AVA’s president. "The AVA supports common-sense regulation of its products, such as New York City’s existing ban on the sale to minors. But adults are free to make their own choices. This proposed law would not only take away a consumer choice, it would eliminate a competitor to Big Tobacco."