New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Celebrates Passage of Flavored E-Cigarette Ban in New York State Budget

"The flavored e-cigarette ban is a bright spot in an otherwise dark budget."

New York, NY – New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) heralded passage of her legislation to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes, including menthol and mint, in the Enacted 2020-21 New York State Budget. Assemblymember Rosenthal first introduced the bill in 2017 after having introduced and passed the vast majority of e-cigarette laws in the State of New York.

“I am thrilled that New York State will finally ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes, including menthol and mint. This is a tremendous win for public health and will help to protect a generation of teenagers and young children from the scourge of nicotine addiction and adverse health implications,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The flavors ban, along with a host of other protections included in the final budget will shield young people from the insidious marketing practices employed by the vaping industry,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

E-cigarette use among young people has skyrocketed in recent years. According to a 2016 U.S Surgeon General report, e-cigarette use has increased by 900% among high school students between 2011 and 2015. E-cigarette use by young adults aged 18 to 24 surpassed use by adults aged 25 and older. The New York State Department of Health reports that vaping among high school students in New York State doubled between 2014 and 2016.

“The vapor industry has used cool, fruity flavors to lure teenagers and young children, knowing that if they vaped just a few times, they would be hooked. And a hooked teenager is likely a lifelong customer. This insidious business model is an update of Big Tobacco's playbook that successfully hooked millions on combustible cigarettes. The best defense is a good offense, and after all these years on the ropes, the State is finally standing up to Big Vapor and fighting back,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

In addition to the bill to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, the final budget also included Rosenthal’s bill to prohibit the use of coupons and other price reduction instruments to lower the price of vape products.

“Young people are the most price-conscious consumers, and research demonstrates that sales and coupons are incredibly effective at driving sales. Limiting their use will help limit young people’s access to vaping products,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

"Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes, PAVe, a national grassroots organization founded by three New York moms, is grateful to Linda Rosenthal for tirelessly working to protect the families of New York State from the devastating health effects of flavored e-cigarette products. As New York, and the rest of the country, battles COVID-19, a dangerous and deadly respiratory virus, it is more important than ever to protect our kids’ lungs from the damaging effects caused by these flavored e-cigarette products.”

“At this difficult and unprecedented time in New York State, we thank Linda Rosenthal, Governor Cuomo and the entire New York State Assembly and Senate for continuing to protect New York kids and their families by banning these dangerous and highly addictive flavored e-cigarette products." Dorian Fuhrman & Meredith Berkman, Co-founders of PAVe - Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes.

"Banning flavored e-cigarettes will prevent millions of young people from picking up these insidious nicotine delivery systems. Thank you to Assemblywoman Rosenthal, Senator Hoylman, and the many leaders in the Assembly and Senate that championed this issue over the last few years. Thank you to Julie Hart of American Cancer Society, Kevin O’Flaherty of Tobacco Free Kids, and Parents Against Vaping for their advocacy over the last few years. Also, we want to thank the Governor for his leadership on this issue. We enjoyed working with his office over the last few months. Finally, I’d like to personally thank Abe Baker-Butler and the many SAN leaders for their work over the last few years. This is a great day for New York families," said Jack Waxman, Students Against Nicotine.

“E-cigarettes are creating a new generation of tobacco addicts. We know flavors entice kids to start. If and when a flavored e-cigarette product receives a marketing order from the FDA, New York, in addition to the FDA, must monitor the effects of having that product on the market to ensure it is not continuing to fuel the youth epidemic of e-cigarette use,” said Julie Hart, NYS senior director of Government Relations, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We thank our legislative champions, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Brad Hoylman, and Governor Cuomo for taking this step and standing up to Big Tobacco. We are committed to continuing to work with them to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products.”

"New York leaders today delivered a historic win for kids over the tobacco industry by including legislation in the state’s annual budget that prohibits the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes. This measure is critical to driving down tobacco use and reversing the youth e-cigarette epidemic that is addicting a new generation of kids. We are proud to see New York join Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island in prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes," said Kevin O’Flaherty, Director of Advocacy - Northeast Region for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

New York State PTA President Lorey A. Zaman offered, "We are thrilled that after years of advocacy, New York stands tall in protecting our children. We are truly thankfully to Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Senator Brad Hoylman, and Governor Cuomo for their tireless leadership in advancing this child welfare issue forward. This law proves that the health of NYS children remains a critical priority of NYS."

"Today is a day New York can be proud," added NYS PTA Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky. "Today shows us all that the health and wellness of our children and youth continues to be of highest priority. We cannot thank Assembly Member Rosenthal and Senator Hoylman enough for their years of advocacy on this issue, together with the endless and fierce work of our nearly 300,000 NYS PTA members across New York State. We are also thankful to Governor Cuomo, for his support and work in moving this child safety issue over the finish line."

"In this most challenging and difficult time, it is a joy to celebrate New York State moving to ban flavored e-cigarettes, said Elie Ward, MSW Director of Policy for New York State American Academy of Pediatrics. “Many partners inside and outside of government fought hard to help protect our young people from e-cigarette addiction. Assemblymember Rosenthal has been a strong and constant voice to help us achieve this important goal. We look forward to day 45 after this legislation is signed to ban flavored e-cigarettes across New York.”

The final budget also prohibited the sale of vaping products online and the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies statewide. E-cigarette manufacturers will now be required to include a list of ingredients on their labels and will no longer be permitted to advertise their products within 500 feet of a school.

Rosenthal previously authored laws to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to minors, to include e-cigarettes in the State’s Clean Indoor Air Act, to prohibit possession of e-cigarettes on school grounds, and to prohibit the distribution of free e-cigarette samples to minors and to raise the statewide smoking and vaping age to 21 years old.