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Attorney general cracks down on shops illegally selling e-cigarettes & flavored vaping products

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Sat, Dec 5th 2020 09:05 am

Issues cease and desist letters to 47 retailers selling flavored vaping products, including sales to underage users

New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered dozens of retailers across the state to immediately stop selling e-cigarette products to underage customers and to stop selling flavored vaping products in violation of New York state law. Her office issued cease and desist letters to 47 retailers that were illegally selling tobacco products throughout New York state in Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Hamilton, Nassau, Rochester, Saratoga County, Syracuse, Warren County, Watertown, and the New York City area.

“The pervasiveness of the sale of vaping products to young buyers in New York state” prompted James’ office to hold a roundtable on the subject this past week to explore solutions and perspectives from young students, parents, and elected officials.

“New York banned flavored vaping products and raised the age to buy tobacco products because teens were getting addicted to the dangerous habit of smoking,” she said. “These businesses skirted the law, jeopardizing the health of young New Yorkers. We will remain vigilant in holding anyone accountable who endanger our children by circumventing our laws.”

Investigators from James’ office found retailers were “violating state law by: 1) selling nicotine products to underage purchasers, 2) selling flavored nicotine vaping products, and 3) selling flavored liquid alongside vaping products for customers to create their own flavored vaping products. The illicit products were sold both in the open and secretly from behind the counter.”

In total, James’ office investigated 108 retailers, some of which were located near middle schools and high schools. Among those retailers, investigators found 47 of them were violating the law, some in multiple instances.

In New York, it is illegal to sell nicotine products to individuals under the age of 21. As of May, it is illegal to sell flavored nicotine products in New York, and, as of July, it is illegal to sell vaping products online and through mail order to New York consumers. 

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