New York has become the first state to immediately ban flavored e-cigarettes after nearly 400 cases of serious vaping-related lung disease have been reported in the U.S.
The New York state public health office approved the ban Tuesday on the strong recommendation of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch, and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes," Cuomo said. "It's a public health crisis and it ends today."
The ban takes effect in New York immediately. Only tobacco and menthol flavors can be sold. Michigan has also approved a ban on flavors, but it has not taken effect yet. Other states are also considering a ban.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated emergency measures to tackle the recent spate of lung illnesses blamed on electronic cigarettes.
There are nearly 400 confirmed and suspected cases across the country including at least six deaths.
Health experts have been unable to pinpoint an exact cause, including a specific brand or ingredient in e-cigarettes. But some suspect the use of the marijuana component THC in vaping devices. Nevertheless, they urge all e-cigarette users to stop.
E-cigarettes devices have been marketed as a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Federal regulators have warned the largest e-cigarette maker, JUUL, against making such claims, saying they have not been proven.