NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (WROC) – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York State on Sunday morning. This is the latest in a series of actions to combat the increasing number of youth using vape products driven by e-cigarette companies marketing flavors that appear more appealing to youth.

Cuomo directed State Police and DOH to partner and ramp up enforcement efforts against retailers who sell to those who are under the age of 21, with the possibility of criminal penalties. Cuomo said he will advance legislation to ban deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to teenagers.

State Police is partnering with DOH to investigate across the state under The Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, which enlists underage youth to attempt to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products. Retailers found selling tobacco and vaping products to underage individuals will face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties. When the legislation signed in July is effective on November 13, these sweeps efforts will continue with a renewed focus on sales to those under 21 years of age.

DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker will hold an emergency meeting with the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) this week to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

“New York is confronting this crisis head-on and today we are taking another nation-leading step to combat a public health emergency,” Cuomo said“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.”