Updated Oct 4, 2019 - Health

Court temporarily stalls New York ban on flavored e-cigarettes

In this image, a man stands and looks at his phone while vaping on the sidewalk.

A man smokes an e-cigarette in New York in 2017.  Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

A state appellate court blocked New York's ban on all flavored electronic cigarettes the first week of October, preventing New York from becoming the second state to put such a ban in place, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: The Food and Drug Administration announced last month that it was finalizing plans to pull all flavored e-cigarette cartridges from the market. Massachusetts currently has the harshest vaping ban in U.S.

  • 20 people have died from a lung-related illness linked to vaping as of Oct. 8 — including a 17-year-old male in New York. Several of those fatalities "involved a middle-aged or older person," per the Washington Post.
  • Vaping "is getting young people addicted to nicotine," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum ... to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes — it's a public health crisis and it ends today."
— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo statement

Context: Juul, one of the most popular e-cigarette brands, stopped selling flavored cartridges in retail stores that do not ask for age verification in 2018. The company still sells several flavors online and in smoke shops.

What they're saying: Cuomo said while originally announcing New York's ban, "The only situation, in my mind, factually, that justifies vaping is if you had a person who said 'I currently smoke and I have tried every other device to stop smoking. I've tried everything. Nothing has worked, except vaping.'"

  • A Juul spokesperson told Axios, in response to the Trump administration's push to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes, that the company strongly agreed with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products.
"We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when effective."
— Juul spokesperson

Go deeper: Nicotine addictions increasingly driving vape users back to cigarettes

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the current death toll for a lung-related illness linked to vaping, and to reflect that a state court blocked the New York ban.

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