"NYC Must Ban All Flavored Tobacco": Flavors Hook Kids NYC Responds to Cuomo's E-Vaping Reg
Gov. Cuomo's emergency regulation falls short of protecting kids
NEW YORK, NY (09/15/2019) (readMedia)-- Today, Governor Cuomo announced an emergency regulation to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes – not including menthol – in New York State. In response, Andre Richardson, Campaign Manger for Flavors Hook Kids NYC - a local coalition of more than 100 groups representing parents, social justice organizations, health care professionals, and community groups - issued the following statement:
"While we appreciate Gov. Cuomo's desire to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic, by exempting menthol flavorings the Governor's executive order banning most flavored e-cigarettes falls short of what is necessary to protect kids and requires New York City to take immediate action if we truly want to stop kids from getting addicted to nicotine in all its forms. No tobacco products should taste like menthol, mint or candy; and New York City should act immediately to protect kids from all flavored tobacco products by passing Intros 1345 and 1362. It is as urgent as ever for New York City to take action to protect kids."
New FDA survey data show youth use of e-cigarettes skyrocketed 135% in the last two years, and 5 million middle and high school students nationwide now use e-cigarettes. On Tuesday, the Department of Health released data that shows 1 in 15 NYC middle school students reported using e-cigarettes and 14.4% of middle school students (about 29,000 students) had ever tried e-cigarettes.
Adding to the urgency, this summer, there have been at least 450 people across the country who were hospitalized for vaping-related illnesses and six people have died. In New York, the state Department of Health recently issued a warning about e-cigarette use, citing multiple cases of "severe pulmonary disease" among patients "who reported recent use of vape products."
Big Tobacco has also aggressively marketed flavored tobacco products to underage users for decades to hook new generations of smokers--particularly in communities of color, where menthol cigarettes are sold to young people, creating disproportionately negative health outcomes for African Americans.
Flavors Hook Kids NYC -- a coalition of more than one hundred health, religious, parent and community organizations -- is an all-out effort to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York City, including e-cigarette flavors and menthol cigarettes, before 2020.
Members of the growing coalition are: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, NAACP, Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes (PAVe), American Cancer Society Action Network (ACS CAN), New York Communities for Change, American Cancer Society Action Network, the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council NAATPN, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Neighbors in Action, Last Call Church, United Concerned Citizens, NYPIRG, Bishop Courtenay of Emmanuel Church of God in Brooklyn, Arthur Ashe Institute Public Health, among others. The list is in formation.
The coalition is pushing for the passage of Intro. 1345 - a restriction of the sale of menthol cigarettes - and Intro. 1362 - a restriction of the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Nearly half of NYC Council members support both bills.