Several flavored e-cigarette products, popular among teens, have been banned by the federal government. The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it will prohibit cartridge-based e-cig flavors along the lines of fruit, candy, mint, and dessert.
"I think it's a positive step because we know that youth are using candy and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes," said Jeanie Orr, of Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities.
However, she says this F.D.A. ban is limited and it doesn't do enough. For example, tank-style systems, and tobacco flavored and menthol e-cigs are all exempted from this ban.
"If you get rid of flavored e-cigarettes but leave on the market flavored tobacco products, other products like cigarillos and chew and menthol cigarettes," Orr said, "well these addicted youth now turn to combustible cigarettes and other products, and I don't want to see that. I don't think anyone does."
Last year, Albany County attempted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products but Local Law E didn't pick up enough votes to pass.
"I think the deaths of our young people, we just could not overlook it," said County Legislator Wanda Willingham.
She says the legislature is going to take a wait and will the see approach this year. Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing legislation to ban all flavored nicotine vaping products including menthol flavors.
"What the governor has in mind is actually going to satisfy, I think, just about everyone on the local level here," Willingham said.
Interstate Vapor in Delmar say they're okay with the F.D.A.'s decision, which allows them to continue providing flavored e-liquids to adults who use open tank-style systems.
"We can only hope that Gov. Cuomo will rethink his plan of a broad-based ban of all flavored e-liquid in all vaping systems, which will do nothing to reduce the problem of underage vaping, but will certainly create a dangerous and unregulated black-market for these products," said Leo Carusone, of Interstate Vapor.
The F.D.A. ban goes into effect next month.