MAYVILLE – A lawmaker in Chautauqua County is pushing a motion that supports a permanent ban on the sale and distribution of flavored e-cigarettes.
Legislature Chairman PJ Wendel told WNYNewsNow vaping in public schools is a growing problem. As a coach and physical education teacher he is concerned for his student’s safety.
“Some schools they are referred to as Juul rooms now, not the bathrooms because that is where kids go and vape,” said Wendel. “When you are looking at tooty fruity, cotton candy, bubble gum and blue raspberry you are not targeting a sophisticated adult these are children’s flavors.”
This week New York became the first state to ban the sale of flavors used in e-cigarettes. Although, the emergency regulation will expire in 90 days unless it’s renewed.
Retailers now have two weeks to remove merchandise from store shelves.
Wendel said he hopes the motion will send lawmakers in Albany the message that after the 90 ban ends, a more permanent law should be passed.
According to data from the state health department, nearly 40% of high school seniors and 27% of high school students use e-cigarettes.
Nationwide, health officials are investigating hundreds of cases of serious breathing illnesses in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
They have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one territory, including six deaths.
So far hundreds of vape shops from across the state are condemning the new measure.
North County Legislator Terry Niebel said he looks forward to learning more about the issue before the vote. Although, Nieble said currently, he believes supported a ban is a good idea.
“On the other side there are people arguing that the use of e-cigarettes helps them transition from regular smoking,” said Niebel. “As of right now I am leaning more towards banning the flavored e-cigarettes because of the negative impact on our youth.”
Chautauqua County’s motion will be discussed further during Wednesday’s legislative meeting.