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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.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.