New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants New Yorkers to be aware of the risks of vaping and electronic cigarettes, the use of which, he warned, has increased among high school students.
Cuomo signed an executive order on Thursday for public agencies and other entities over which he has authority in the state, to launch an educational program on vaping, a campaign that extends to job training.
Cuomo also signed into law legislation today to expand school programs and marketing campaigns aimed at reducing tobacco use to include electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine.
The executive order notes that New York has made great strides in generating awareness and resources to help New Yorkers quit tobacco addiction “but it is time to recognize that there are significant risks associated with vaping and its popularity growing among young people”.
The order further indicates that while the smoking rate among high school students dropped from 27.1% in 2000 to its lowest record of 4.3% in 2016, aggressive marketing promoting flavored electronic cigarettes is changing that trend.
It also wars that the state Department of Health has received 56 reports from doctors of severe lung disease in patients between the ages of 15 and 46.
The order adds that about 40% of high school seniors and 27% of high school students in this state are using electronic cigarettes.
It also indicates that in 2018, 27.4 percent of high school students used electronic cigarettes, 160 percent higher than it was in 2014, when it was 10.5 percent.
Cuomo also ordered the Department of Health to issue emergency regulations, approved today by the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC), to require entities selling vaping products to post posters about the dangers of this action.
The health agency is also launching a public service campaign to further educate the public about the many risks associated with vaping.
“After raising the smoking age to 21 to protect young people from costly and deadly nicotine addiction, we are doubling our mission to protect public health and keep our children safe from the dangers of electronic cigarettes, which unfortunately have become common alternatives to regular cigarettes,” the governor said in a press release.
He also said he will promote legislation to prohibit the possession, manufacture, distribution, sale or offering for sale of flavored liquids to discourage the use of electronic cigarettes in New York.
The governor’s action follows a report released two days ago by the city’s Department of Health that warns of increased consumption of electronic cigarettes in schools and that these vaporizers threaten to end decades of progress in the fight against nicotine use among young people.
According to the report, by 2018, 2.6 percent of 11- and 12-year-olds said they smoked at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey.
A percentage that increases to 9% in seventh grade students (aged 12-13) and to 8.4% in eighth grade students (aged 13-14).