Widespread access to illegal flavored e-cigarettes propped up by the black market and noncompliant distributors.

Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages and Senator Leroy Comrie joined colleagues in the legislature, clergy members, and law enforcement officials to highlight the need for their legislation to enhance enforcement of New York State laws banning flavored e-cigarette products (A9206/S8559). Communities across New York State are keenly aware of how accessible vaping devices are to young people. Too many smoke shops and other sellers continue to sell flavored vaping products that were outlawed back in 2020. 

The proposed legislation would give the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) enhanced powers to impose fines on violating sellers and seize illegal vaping products. A new system of licensing for distributors of e-cigarette products would be created to allow DTF to keep track of all operating distributors in the state and improve monitoring for the distribution of illegal products. This licensing system would also give DTF enhanced abilities to inspect distribution facilities.

Distributors who violate the law by selling illegal, flavored e-cigarettes will also be subject to new penalties, including fines and the revocation of licenses for up to seven years depending on the frequency of violations. The taxes collected on e-cigarettes would shift from a retail tax to an excise tax, which would be paid at the distributor level. Each of these actions disincentivizes distributors from engaging in illegal sales of flavored e-cigarettes by imposing significant financial costs if they are found to be violating New York State law.

“Our communities have been flooded with illegal vaping devices for far too long,” said Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages. “Distributors must be held accountable for participating in this lucrative, illegal enterprise that saturates the market with harmful products. This legislation empowers state authorities with the necessary tools to enforce existing laws effectively and protect our young people from the dangers of vaping.”

“Illicit flavored vapes are becoming a candy-flavored gateway for our youth to nicotine addiction and long-lasting health implications,” said Senator Leroy Comrie. “Though banned in 2020, lax enforcement of the ban on flavored vapes has made compliance seem optional, and as a result, four more years worth of young folks have been getting hooked on these dangerous products. We have to make a stronger effort to ensure New York businesses face real consequences if they further the issue, so I’m proud to sponsor bill S8559/A9206 with Assemblymember Michaelle Solages to bring about this change.”

“I am proud to support the work of my colleague, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, on A9206,” said Assemblymember John Zaccaro, Jr. “It takes a village to combat the bad actors hell-bent on circumventing the law. Passing A9206 will require store owners to be issued licenses, pay their share of taxes on these products, and hold businesses accountable when they break the law. This bill will be another critical tool added to our toolbox in the fight to keep our communities healthy and safe.” 

Assemblymember Billy Jones: “Illegal flavored vapes are flooding our communities and creating a public health crisis in our communities, especially among youth. These products are unregulated, and we do not know what the health effects will be from these illicit substances. We must provide law enforcement the tools to get these products out of the hands of our youth and prevent lifelong health problems.”


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