(MINEOLA, N.Y.) – Legislation introduced by Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker (D - Plainview) to implement a countywide ban on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products was passed unanimously by the full Nassau County Legislature in a vote today - a long-awaited and major public health victory for Nassau County’s young people.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said she will sign the bill, which prohibits the sale of flavored vaping products except for those that are tobacco, mint, or menthol flavored, into law once it reaches her desk. Nassau County’s ban would take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
“As the number of deaths and individuals stricken with serious lung illnesses continues to rise, it is our duty as lawmakers to take decisive action to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and especially our young people,” Legislator Drucker said. “It is clear to me that vape manufacturers cynically leverage cotton-candy, blueberry and cookie-flavored vapes as tools for hooking unsuspecting young people on nicotine. While I was disappointed that there were several delays in reaching this moment, I am thankful for the outcome of today’s vote and all who supported my push to remove these dangerous products from the market.”
A countywide flavored-vape ban was necessitated by successful court action by pro-vaping interests to temporarily restrain enforcement of the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council’s administrative action that would have outlawed the sale of many flavored electronic cigarette and vaping products as of Oct. 4, 2019.
Today’s action is the latest in a series of initiatives spearheaded by Legislator Drucker and other Minority Caucus legislators aimed at addressing the vaping crisis. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that, as of Nov. 20, 2019, deaths and 2,290 lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette use have been reported.
While the CDC indicates that national and state findings point to products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources, as the source of many of the lung injuries, officials stress that the vaping is unsafe in all forms and that consumers should protect themselves from harm by refraining from the use of all vaping products.
(For additional data and facts compiled by the CDC related to the outbreak, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.)
On Wednesday, Oct. 23, County Executive Curran signed into law a Legislator Drucker-led initiative to restrict the advertising of age-restricted products - such as cigarettes, tobacco and vaping products - within 1,000 feet of establishments commonly frequented by youth. A third bill, introduced on Friday, Oct. 4 by Legislator Debra Mulé (D – Freeport), would ban the use of cigarettes, vapes and e-cigarettes at most County parks, playgrounds, athletic fields and recreational facilities. Legislator Drucker is a co-sponsor of that measure as well.