Shinnecock Indian Nation smoke shops unaffected by NYS e-cigarette ban
The Shinnecock Indian Nation smoke shops may be some of the last places on Long Island where customers will be able to buy flavored electronic cigarettes.
An executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in New York state. The decision remains tied up in court, but either way, the order will not apply to smoke shops on protected Shinnecock land.
Along Montauk Highway, across the territory of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, there are several smoke shops. One store, named Shinnecock Smoke Shop, claims to be "Long Island's first tax-free smoke shop."
Shop manager Taobi Silva says his store will keep selling flavored e-cigarettes to adult customers since there is no federal or tribal ban on selling the products.
“We sell to adults who use e-cigs as a way to get off traditional cigarettes,” Silva says.
The CDC says there have been more than 30 vaping-related deaths, many of them teens or young adults.
Some residents say they believe the smoke shops on Shinnecock land should follow the state's lead and participate in the ban.
Silva says many of the vaping-related deaths nationwide are believed to be the result of counterfeit THC-laced products not sold in stores.
News 12 reached out to the Shinnecock Indian Nation for comment but has not heard back.