NY Judge Orders State to Reimburse Vaping Group’s Legal Cost
A New York acting Supreme Court Judge has ordered the state to pay the legal fees incurred by a vaping trade group, who attempted to fight the state’s ban on flavored e-cigs.
Justice Catherine Cholakis made this ruling on Oct. 21 and noted that the state was involved in a “clearly unconstitutional action.” Vapor Technology Association and some vape shops filed the case requesting $381,000 to cover their attorney legal fees and other costs associated with the lawsuit against the state.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office has refused to comment on the case. At the moment, it is unclear if Cholakis will order the state to pay the exact amount requested by the plaintiff. The judge did indicate that the amount is an “eye-popping sum.”
The move to ban flavored e-liquids last year sprung from concerns about a purported breathing illness, the rise of vaping among young people. Authorities noted that some vaping products had colorful packaging designs that mimic the appearance of popular candy, dessert, and fruit treats.
New York was the first state to ratify the ban. “Manufacturers of fruit and candy-flavored e-cigarettes are intentionally and recklessly targeting young people, and today we’re taking action to put an end to it,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after the ban was passed.
Vaping companies have since redesigned the packaging of their products to make them less attractive to younger people. It appears these efforts have been successful because, in September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the use of e-cigarettes among the youth is reducing. Apart from the ban, New York authorities increased the legal age for buying e-cigarettes to 21 years last year.
The Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC and its partners revealed that 1.8 million less young people are currently using e-cigarettes compared to last year. In 2019, around 5.4 million young people were found to be using e-cigarettes. However, that number has fallen to just 3.6 million this year.
“Although the decline in e-cigarette use among our nation’s youth is a notable public health achievement, our work is far from over,” CDC Director Rovery R. Redfield said. Currently, 8 out of 10 young people are thought to use e-cigarettes, and disposable devices appear to be what they prefer.
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