The sale of flavored tobacco products across Albany County will continue. Local Law E failed in the Albany County Legislature on Tuesday night.
Paul Miller introduced the measure earlier this year. He was among the 18 legislators that voted yes, while 17 voted no. But 20 votes were need for the bill to pass.
The vote followed a lengthy public forum.
Supporters of the bill say getting rid of flavored tobacco products aims to stop young people from picking up the habit. But opponents of the law say this would've hurt small businesses and those trying to quit smoking cigarettes.
“This will create an underground or black market for the product,” said Wustefeld Candy Company owner Bruce Finkle.
“There’s a lot we don’t know but I say to pass these products on us as a safe alternative to the public for smoking is irresponsible,” said Elizabeth Whalen, Albany County Health Department Commissioner.
With the failure of Local Law E, the attention turns back to the Governor Cuomo’s executive order. That effort to ban flavored vaping products statewide has been put on hold due to a court challenge by the industry.
On Wednesday, New York will be raising the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21. The new law also applies to e-cigarettes.