We’ve got a lot to cover this weekend, so you might want to grab a snack.
The #BreakingNews, today, is that NY Gov. Cuomo is announcing executive action to ban the sale of flavored vapor products in the state of New York.
While his announcement references the early data release from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) that shows youth vaping rose, again, to 28%, the governor neglected to mention that youth smoking is at historic lows after an unprecedented 28.4% decline–in one year.
Gov. Cuomo’s executive action includes the following:
- “State Police and Department of Health (DOH) partner to immediately ramp up enforcement efforts against retailers who sell to underage youth – possibilities of criminal penalties.
- “Advances legislation to eliminate deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to children and underage youth.
- “DOH Commissioner, Dr. Zucker, will hold emergency meeting with PHHPC to ban e-cigarette flavors.”
On the last point, CASAA has learned that the emergency meeting will likely produce a rule that bans the sale of flavored e-liquids for 90 days. The ban will be effective immediately with enforcement starting in early October (possibly 10/4). This means that a ban would be in place until close to the start of the 2020 legislative session.
For most–if not all–vape shops in New York, even a 30-day ban on sales of flavored e-liquid means they will be closing their doors and not returning.
To date, none of the “vaping lung illness” cases are being linked to a commercially available nicotine vapor product.
But state and federal officials keep banging on about how all “vaping” is bad.
Banning FDA-compliant, commercially available flavored nicotine vapor products will not solve the issue of people being exposed to a lung irritant that has now claimed the lives of six people. Arguably, a ban will make this situation worse.
Under the existing regulations for nicotine vapor products, manufacturers are required to register with the FDA all of the products they sell and the ingredient listings. FDA is also responsible for inspecting manufacturing facilities. If these products are banned, a new industry–existing in the shadows–will spring up to take the place of the one we have today. There will be no track-and-trace, no oversight, and no accountability.
The sudden onset of these lung illnesses suggests that this is the result of a chemical exposure to an ingredient or contaminant that has recently made its way into a yet-to-be identified product. If this is traceable back to nicotine liquids, the manufacturer responsible would be subject to penalties from the FDA.
Last Friday (09/07), CASAA posted an advisory in response to warnings from state and federal health officials regarding the lung illnesses. While these warnings include information that oil-based cannabis products were being linked to many of the cases, most of the warnings devote a disproportionate amount of space describing potential sources of harm from vaping nicotine. CASAA’s advisory is intended for anyone who is frightened by reports that are broadly attributing the lung illnesses to “vaping” and might be deciding to return to smoking. Please don’t go back to smoking. There are other alternatives!
Donald Trump said some stuff about vaping. It was not great.
On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he would be directing Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Alex Azaar, to move forward with FDA guidance that would remove flavored vapor products (other than tobacco or unflavored) from the market. The announcement is in response to early data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing that past 30-day vaping among young people rose from 21% in 2018 to 28% in 2019.
While the White House is obviously concerned about the rise in youth vaping, no one in the administration is drawing attention to the fact that NYTS data also show an accelerated decline in youth smoking (mentioned above).
Your messages to federal lawmakers are being sent this week.
Timed to coincide with the VTA’s industry conference and Hill Day, this week, CASAA will be delivering messages from more than 10,000 people, urging Congress to reject legislation that would ban flavors, enact taxes, and, in one proposal, require that vapor products be approved only as medical devices. If you haven’t sent your message, please take action NOW!
Here’s the link: https://www.votervoice.net/CASAA/campaigns/68346/respond
The past month has been dizzying and there’s no sign of this letting up. Sigh.
Alex Clark, CEO
This Week’s News:
Highlights: (Sept. 9), (Sept. 10), (Sept. 11), (Sept. 13)
Last Week’s News:
CASAA In the News:
The More You Know:
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