PRESS RELEASE: Assemblymember Paulin’s Legislation to Prohibit the Shipment of Vapor Products to Individuals Passed in the State Budget

Published by Amy Paulin on

ALBANY, NY —  Today’s passage of the New York State budget included legislation advanced by Assemblymember Amy Paulin to prohibit the shipment of vapor products to individuals.

While public health advocates and others have expressed alarm for many years at the rise in popularity of vapor products among youth, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more urgent to curb the use of these products. COVID-19 has proven life-threatening for teenagers and young adults who would otherwise not be at risk of serious illness, due to the underlying lung damage caused by vaping.

“Shipping cigarettes directly to individuals is already prohibited, and vapor products should be treated the same,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin. “I have heard from student activists in my district who tell me that it is far easier to obtain vapor products from Internet retailers than to go to a physical store, since websites make only a rudimentary attempt to verify age. It simply makes no sense that you’re prohibited from buying addictive tobacco cigarettes online, but you can buy addictive vapor products online.”

Vapor products usually contain the addictive substance nicotine. In addition, these products routinely contain flavoring including diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease, other cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals including nickel, tin, and lead. What could be a comparable health risk for long-term smokers is a clear danger for teenagers and others who never started smoking in the first place but could become addicted to vaping. The FDA has reported that within the past year, use of e-cigarettes has risen by 78% among high school students and 48% for middle school students.

This bill will help close the shipping loophole that makes vapor products easier for teenagers to obtain than tobacco.

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