New York lawmakers want to smoke out the truth about vaping.
Concerned about recent health scares and the alarming rise in the rates of teens puffing on e-cigarettes, State Senate Democrats are set to question students, experts and medical professionals about the perils of nicotine products at a Manhattan hearing on Monday, the Daily News has learned.
Legislators, likely to take up bills either limiting kid-friendly flavors or potentially banning vaping products altogether when they return to Albany in January, say their main concern is big tobacco companies targeting teens and the troubling number of high schoolers picking up the habit.
From 2014 to 2018 the use of e-cigarettes among teens increased by 160%, from 10.5% to 27.4%, according to the state Department of Health. More than half of teens falsely believe that e-cigarette use is harmless, despite the concerning levels of highly addictive nicotine. New York’s legal smoking age will officially be 21 as of next month after lawmakers approved the raise from 18 earlier this year.
“Parents and advocates are deeply concerned about the long-term consequences, and they do not feel enough is being done to address the underage abuse of vaping products,” said Sen. Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester). “With so much noise, rumor, and speculation, this hearing will gather experts, including school leaders and students, to discuss the facts.”