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Vaping Health Scare Prompts Slew Of Proposed Regulations From NY Lawmakers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The vaping health scare across the nation is prompting some local lawmakers to step up regulations.

One New York state senator, Kevin Thomas, wants a state-wide ban on the sale of refillable e-cigarette liquids because they're unregulated, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

"We need to have some heightened scrutiny here. We can't just let any product into our state and see these young kids get injured and then figure out years later, oh, this was the cause," Thomas said.

In Nassau County, there is a bill to ban flavored e-cigarette liquids, which critics say get kids hooked on nicotine.

"It's an urgent situation," Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker said. "They taste like bubble gum and cotton candy ... They don't see any long-term effects from it, but there are long-term effects and we are finally seeing it now."

RELATED STORY: Hempstead Takes Lead In Aiming To Ban Sale Of Flavored Vaping Products

The flurry of legislation and blunt warnings comes amid a spate of lung illnesses and at least five deaths associated with the use of e-cigarettes.

The NYS Vapor Association, with 700 retailers, warns bans will only drive reformed smokers back to more harmful cigarettes.

"Why would you want people to stop using e-cigarettes when that's the only thing that keeps them from smoking deadly, combustible tobacco?" Spike Babaian, with the NYS Vapor Association, said.

Retailers call the proposed new laws an overreaction and urge users to not confuse e-cigarette cartridges sold through vape shops with illegal THC and black market, untested street cartridges.

RELATED STORY: Gov. Cuomo Echoes CDC Warning, Says Health Department Will Urge New Yorkers To Stop Vaping

Dr. Ling Huang, a Hofstra University professor and scientist, has been testing e-cigarette solvents for years, however, and he says there are unknown dangers.

"It's a carcinogen, basically. If you inhale too much of those aldehydes, you can get cancer and all the other lung diseases," he said.

Huang says of the oils used to vape THC, "Those bigger molecules can stay in the lungs and cause bigger damage."

Several different issues -- the health risks of vaping nicotine versus THC and the lure of candy-flavored addictive products -- have all led to a slew of proposed regulations and warnings.

The Upstate New York Poison Center created educational videos for both students and parents

Watch the Upstate New York Poison Center's "Vaping: Do you know what's inside? Educational Video for Students" --

Vaping: Do you know what's inside? Educational Video for Students by Upstate New York Poison Center on YouTube

Watch the Upstate New York Poison Center's "Vaping: Is it worth it? Educational Video for Parents" --

Vaping: Is it worth it? Educational Video for Parents by Upstate New York Poison Center on YouTube

First Lady Melania Trump tweeted Monday that she is "deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children."

Also on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Department of Health to issue subpoenas to companies marketing and selling "thickening agents" used in black market vaping products and to issue emergency regulations mandating that warning signs must be posted in all vape and smoke shops in New York State.

Cuomo also said he would advance legislation to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

Web Extra: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Announcement On Vaping --


Health officials say avoid vaping until they have conclusive answers.

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