Cortland County Health Department responds to overturned vaping ban

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Last week, New York State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis blocked the state from enforcing an executive order banning flavored vaping products. Enforcement was slated to begin last October, until Vapor Technology Association, an industry trade group, challenged the rule in state court.

According to Cholakis, regulating the vaping industry is a job for the state Legislature, not the executive branch, whose function is to implement policy set by lawmakers.

Here is a statement from the Cortland County Health Department on the topic:

We can’t lose sight that we still have a big problem on our hands. Youth continue to use electronic cigarettes at alarming levels. Nearly 40% of 12th graders in New York State use e-cigarettes. 2019 data from the Cortland Area Communities That Care Youth Development Survey show that 25% (or 1 in 4) of all high school students in Cortland County are vaping. Our kids are at high risk of harming their brain development and increasing their risk for future addiction to other drugs. Young people are unknowingly causing long-term damage to their health and well-being.

We know that marketing attracts youth to e-cigarettes and flavors are what gets them to try them. Nicotine is what keeps them addicted.

It takes a comprehensive approach to compete against an industry that’s hooking our kids with pro-addiction messaging. Education alone is insufficient to combat the pervasive conflicting messaging we signal by allowing widespread availability of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Local municipalities can and have set limits how and where e-cigarettes are sold, which impacts marketing.

In the meantime, Governor Cuomo recently announced that his office will put forth legislation to prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and authorize the Department of Health to regulate chemicals in vapor products that may be harmful to health. The legislation would also restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to registered retailers by limiting sales that occur online or over the phone, and would restrict vapor product marketing that targets youth and/or makes unapproved product safety or smoking cessation claims.

The solution is to change our community environment so that tobacco and vape use is not the norm.  We can’t always wait for or rely upon the state and national governments to do so.




Jennifer D. Hamilton

Tobacco Free Zone – Cortland, Tompkins, Chenango

Cortland County Health Department

60 Central Avenue, Room 114

Cortland, NY 13045

Phone: (607) 758-5501

Fax: (607) 756-3419


Click on the articles below for previous information on the ban of flavored vaping products: