Suffolk County, New York, to Prohibit Sale of Hidden E-cigarette Items

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A new law in Suffolk County, New York, aims to ban the sale of e-cigarette products disguised as school supplies.

According to Newsday, a bill in Suffolk County, New York, that would ban the sale of e-cigarette products disguised as school supplies and personal items will have a public hearing on December 5th.

The bill prohibits the sale of e-cigarette devices that resemble fluorescent pens, USB drives, ballpoint pens, phone cases, smartwatches, and backpacks.

The sponsor of the bill, state legislator Jim Mazzarella, stated that he hopes to ensure that the bill is in line with state laws, including the definition of smoking and the potential repercussions for businesses that violate the regulations and risk losing their licenses.

In August of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to 15 online retailers for selling and/or distributing unauthorized e-cigarette products that are packaged to resemble cartoon characters, school supplies, toys, and beverages, appealing to teenagers. Selling e-cigarettes to individuals below the age of 21 is illegal.

The President of the New York Convenience Store Association, Kent Sopris, based in Albany, has expressed support for the bill, with the expectation that the county would commit to enforcing it. It is worth noting that online sales of e-cigarette products were prohibited in the state of New York in 2020. Recent data reveals that approximately one out of every ten American middle and high school students, equivalent to 2.55 million individuals, have used e-cigarettes at least once within 30 days of being surveyed in 2022.

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