New York Will Require Health Warnings In Vape Shops

ALBANY (WCBS 880) — New York state may soon require shops selling vaping devices to post health warning signs.

In an effort to curb what the Food and Drug Administration has called an “epidemic of youth vaping,” the state may move to require health warning signs following hundreds of cases of lung illnesses believed to be connecting to vaping.

E-cigarettes, like JUUL, typically heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapor. Federal law bans sale of the products to anyone under the age of 18, but according to recent studies, more and more high school students report using vaping products.

Multiple municipalities in the state have already introduced legislation in an effort to ban the products, including Yonkers and Nassau County.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the latest move on Monday while advising all New Yorkers not to use any vaping devices.

"Don't do it because we don't know that it is safe," Cuomo said. "This is a frightening public health phenomenon.... Common sense says if you don't know what you are smoking, don't smoke it."

New York's health department will investigate and subpoena three companies that make vaping liquids with the thickening agent vitamin E acetate, which has only been found on the black market, not in lawful commercial products. Nevertheless, health warnings will go up in vape shops and the governor will support new legislation that will ban flavored e-cigarettes which is attracting thousands of young people.

"There has been some evidence that vitamin E acetate, which is used in many of these vaping products, has significant health risks associated with it," Cuomo said. 

Health officials have been unable to determine one single device or ingredient linked to the sickness.

Health investigators are currently investigating the cause of the mysterious illness, which has led to five deaths.

There have been over 450 reported illnesses linked to vaping and e-cigarette use in 33 states. Forty-one people in New York have developed respiratory and gastrointestinal problems after vaping.