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State Lawmakers Differ On Need For Flavored Vaping Products Ban


ITHACA, NY - New York’s temporary ban on flavored vaping liquids is set to expire Sunday. It was never enforced because vaping industry groups challenged it in court. 

The ban was a response to an increase in vaping related illnesses among New Yorkers. Public health officials are expected to extend the ban but reports not all of the region’s lawmakers agree there should be a state imposed ban.

The 90-day ban is an emergency measure put in place by the New York Department of Health. A more permanent ban on flavored vaping liquids would require legislative approval. However, a previous effort died in committee.

One of the co-sponsors of that bill was Ithaca-area Democratic Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca). She said the legislature should take action to restrict the sale of vaping products because of the affect it seems to be having on younger people.

"I’m most concerned about protecting minors," Lifton said, "who have advertising directed at them."

Finger Lakes area State Senator Pam Helming (R-Canadaigua) said, despite the risks involved with vaping, she believes there should be less government involved in people's personal lives.

"I believe adults should be able to make individual decisions on whether or not they want to participate in vaping," she said. "When we talk about adults, 18 and over, they should be able to make the decision on their own."

Helming emphasized when it comes to minors that's a different matter. She said there should be harsh penalties for people who sell vaping products to minors and for anyone selling on the black market.

According to the state Department of Health, there have been over two hundred cases of vaping related illness and two deaths in New York.