“We will help protect the health of all New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio before signing the bill into law on Monday. “Especially our children, we will protect their health at any cost.”
Banned flavors include bubble-gum, fruit, and menthol, among others. Tobacco flavored products are not included in the ban, which goes into effect July 2020.
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) December 16, 2019
Cities and states have railed against vaping products after a string of vaping-related illnesses and deaths swept across the United States. Recent national government data shows that nearly 10 percent of 8th graders have used e-cigarettes—three times the number of students who’ve smoked cigarettes.
De Blasio said the new legislation is a blow to tobacco companies that have deceptively targeted their products to children by using kid-friendly advertising.
“We had children at our hearing on this bill as young as 11 who spoke about their avoidance of bathrooms in their middle schools because they know that kids will be vaping. And they don’t want the peer pressure,” said Council Member Mark Levine (D-N.Y.) at the bill-signing.
Levine acknowledged that while some adults use vaping products—such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids—to make a transition to a tobacco-free life, the bill is about protecting children from every starting.
De Blasio said the signing of the bill will set an example for the rest of the country.
“When the largest city in the nation bans non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, it sends a message to everyone else,” said de Blasio, “that they can do it, too.”