NY lawmakers hold public hearing to decide fate of vaping products

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New York state lawmakers heard from health experts, students and vaping industry officials as they held a public hearing in Manhattan on the potential harmful effects of vaping.

The lawmakers are looking to regulate or ban vaping products. This comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a ban on flavored electronic cigarettes in September. He says they entice kids to start vaping.

In October, state Sen. Kevin Thomas proposed banning the sale of all e-liquids.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman agrees with the regulation plans, saying at the hearing, "I think these devices should be removed from the market and wait until FDA approval."

Cheryl Richter from the NYS Vapor Association, which represents 700 vape shops across the state, says she disagrees. "Removing any product from the market and making the less harmful alternative not available anymore will lead to further death," she said.

Vape shop owners say the plan would hurt their bottom line. They say 75% of their business is selling e-liquids.

Matt Flax, owner of Vaporville in Hicksville, says all his products are FDA-approved and have warning labels and ingredients listed on them. He says he fears that if lawmakers ban these e-liquids, people will get it on the black market with unknown ingredients.

"If we ban the refillable flavors, we're going to create that epidemic where people are making things in their bathtub, in their kitchen sinks— we're going to create much more serious health problems," Flax says.

Since March, the CDC says 38 people have died nationwide and 1,800 people were sickened from vaping-related illnesses. No single ingredient has been linked to all the illnesses.

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