A pair of rumored proposals could impact the e-cigarette and vaping industry in dramatically different ways. The federal government is preparing to roll out a plan that could actually help the vaping industry grow. This comes as New York is reportedly eyeing a plan to snuff out the sale of flavored e-cigs statewide.
New York could become the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
“Prohibition of this isn’t going to work,” said Michael Davidson.
Davidson owns Pale Horse Vapors, with locations in Troy and Ballston Spa. He says banning the sale of flavored products might end up fueling an underground market.
“They’d be working in non-clean sanitized areas. Right now all of the big juice manufacturers, we don’t actually manufacture juice but all of the big juice manufacturers do it in clean lab environments,” Davidson said.
Wednesday the state Department of Health published its proposals for banning e-cigarettes but later withdrew it to allow more time for legal review.
Sunday, a spokesman for Governor Cuomo said, in part, “this administration is looking to do everything it can to curb this emerging public health issue."
According to the DOH, the state’s smoking rate among youth is at a record low 4.3 percent, but their e-cigarette use doubled between 2014 and 2016 from 10.5 percent to 20.6 percent.
“I think everyone can agree, we want to keep products like nicotine out of the hands of kids,” Davidson said.
Davidson is more supportive of a FDA proposal expected to be rolled out this week. It would limit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to smoke and vape shops, meaning convenience stores might not be able to carry them. Davidson says that could be a good thing, boosting business at vape stores while also allowing store workers who are knowledgeable about e-cigarettes to ensure the quality of products and enforce existing age restrictions.
“It is a lot less harmful for people to be vaping than to be smoking traditional cigarettes. You don’t want to push everybody back to traditional cigarettes,” Davidson.
While many believe vaping is less harmful than smoking, there is not a consensus within the medical community about the risks of vaping long-term.
Once New York’s plans for a possible flavor ban are made public, the regulations could go into effect after a 60-day public comment period.