Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to call for citywide ban on flavored e-cigarettes

YONKERS, New York (WABC) -- The mayor of Yonkers is set to call for a citywide ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes.

Mayor Mike Spano plans on submitting legislation to the City Council to ban the products.

It comes after the U.S. Surgeon General's Office issued an advisory on e-cigarette use among youths.

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used nicotine delivery system among young adults.

On Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved to make her state the first to ban flavored e-cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to "hook children on nicotine."

New York last November began taking steps to bar the sale of flavored e-cigarettes but withdrew proposed rules, and legislators rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal to clarify the state health department's authority to limit sales.

The federal government and states ban the sale of vaping products to minors, yet government survey figures show that last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping in the previous month. Top government health officials, including the surgeon general, have flagged the trend as an epidemic.

"This is a health crisis that we're confronting, and it would never be permitted if it was cigarettes. We're letting these companies target our kids, appeal to our kids and deceive our children," Whitmer told reporters. Michigan's chief medical executive determined that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency.

As of last week, 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes had been reported by 25 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Michigan officials are investigating six such cases. At least two deaths in the U.S. have been linked to vaping, one announced in Illinois last month and another in Oregon announced this week. The Oregon death is the first linked by health officials to a product purchased at a marijuana dispensary.

Several national health groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, backed Michigan's planned ban and renewed calls for the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the sale of thousands of flavored vaping products

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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