NYS Lawmakers Consider Banning Flavored E-Liquids

Vaping Industry: "Leave Us Be"

AP photo


Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Among the legislative bills awaiting action in the final stretch of the state legislative session, is one that affects the vaping industry. 

State lawmakers are considering a ban on flavored vaping products. 

The bill, A08688, would prohibit the sale of flavored e-liquids and flavored e-cigarettes. According to the Memorandum in Support, “This bill would eliminate the temptation for young people in New York State to try flavored electronic cigarettes and in turn reduce the number of people who become regular users of tobacco products.”

Brian Ellis is Vice President of Operations for Yeti Vape, with six stores regionally. "Ultimately the state wants to eliminate the sale of any flavor other than menthol or tobacco".  His company currently sells about 160 flavors.  "This legislation would kill about 92% of our business.  Only about 8% of sales are tobacco or menthol". 

"I'm sure they're trying to make this less appealing to kids" Ellis said.   "We've already taken steps to combat underage kids from getting our product with increased age verification protocol.  We have a scanner that takes the bar code off the back of an ID.  We also have electronic age verification on our website to make sure the customer is of legal age", he said. 

The vaping retailer offered this perspective. "It would be almost like walking onto a car lot and the only 2 models you see are a 2-door sedan and a 4-door sedan.  No more sports cars, no more SUV's, no more utility trucks" said Ellis.

He has found that people often start with a tobacco or menthol flavor, but ultimately they move onto a flavor such as strawberry or custard.  Using a flavor other than tobacco or menthol allows them to dis-associate themselves with the act of smoking and increases their chances of success. 

Ellis, who is pleading with the state to "Leave us be",  said the legislation is out of committee and going to the full legislature for consideration.  The session is set to end June 20th. 

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