Flavored e-cigarettes now banned in New York City

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The New York City Council approved a ban on flavored e-cigarettes on Wednesday.

The vote was almost unanimous with only two council members, Kalman Yeger and Steven Matteo, voting in opposition to the bill.

The legislation also requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct a public information campaign about smoking cessation devices.

The vote comes a week after the New York State Department of Health confirmed a second vaping-related death. The first death occurred in October after a Bronx teen was hospitalized with a vaping-related respiratory illness in the September. As of Nov. 20, over 2,200 people nationwide have been treated for vaping-related illness and 47 people have died of the illness.

Councilman Mark Levine introduced the legislation in order to curb the rates of children vaping in the city, an “epidemic” he said that legislators across the country have epically failed to deter. According to the Center for Disease Control, at least one in four high school students and one in 10 middle school students vaped last year.

“We have no higher obligation than to protect the health of kids,” said Levine, shortly before the vote. “We are acting to protect our kids, to protect them from the flavors that have been hooking them for years.”

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