Alec Giufurta / Cornell Staff Writer

A selection of e-cigarette products on sale at Jason's Grocery and Deli in Collegetown.

October 8, 2019

E-Cig Makers Breathe Easy As Appellate Court Puts Pause on Latest Ban

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A New York appellate court halted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) ban on flavored e-cigarettes on Thursday, temporarily enjoining its enforcement. The ban, originally scheduled to take effect on Oct. 4, is now paused until the New York State Supreme Court hands down a decision.

The New York State ban would outlaw all flavors besides tobacco and menthol. A proposed federal ban would ban menthol nationally.

Despite this decision, flavored pods are still soon to disappear from Collegetown stores. A staff member at the Collegetown 7/11 told The Sun over the phone that they now only carry the tobacco pods –– the only flavor so far untouched by the state and national bans.

At Jason’s Grocery and Deli, the store’s last shipment of mint pods was scheduled to arrive Tuesday. “We’re getting another shipment of 5 percent mint pod 4-packs tomorrow … 200 of them,” Vincent Dipietra ’20, a staff member at Jason’s, told The Sun on Monday.

As previously reported by The Sun, e-cigarette sales in Collegetown have been on the decline this semester, due in part to a slew of health concerns after a surge in vaping-related pulmonary illnesses –– over 1,000 cases as of Oct. 1, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re trying to sell the mint pods as soon as we can,” Dipietra added, sharing how the store was airing on the side of caution, as the New York State ban could come back into effect as soon as October 18, when the State Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments, Reuters reported.

Vapor Technology Association, the Washington-based interest group challenging the New York Ban, alleged “executive overreach” by the State of New York, in a statement by executive director Tony Abboud.

Milo Gringlas ’22, a former legislative advocate for Students Against Nicotine, a non-profit organization founded by Jack Waxman ’22, criticized the argument of Vapor Technology Association in their suit to block New York’s ban.

“Vape store coalitions and big tobacco propagate this notion of constitutional overstep, charging their business as beyond government purview, but the safety of its citizenry is their very duty,” Gringlas said.