The Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition (STTAC) seeks to build

healthier communities through tobacco-free living in

Chemung, Schuyler, & Steuben, NY.

NYS Takes Emergency Executive Action to Pause Sale of Flavored E-cigarettes

Following a September 15th announcement by New York Governor Cuomo, an advisory council  approved for emergency adoption of a regulation restricting the retail sale of some flavored e-cigarettes, allowing only menthol or tobacco flavors to be sold in New York. The emergency regulation is immediately effective, providing a grace period before local health departments begin enforcement on Monday, October 7, 2019.

In the span of a week, momentum to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes was given a big boost—first by NY Governor Cuomo, and then by President Trump. Alarmed by preliminary data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey showing that youth vaping continues its unprecedented acceleration, elected officials are calling for action to address the marketing that hooks young users.

The emergency regulation approved by the New York Public Health and Planning Council:

  • prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids in characterizing flavors other than menthol or tobacco flavor
    • applies to all e-cigarette retailers
  • is a sales restriction and does not impact e-cigarette possession, purchase, or use by individuals
  • is effective September 17, 2019, with enforcement beginning October 7, 2019
    • precedes the state registration requirement for e-cigarette retailers, which begins December 1, 2019
  • remains in effect for 90 days (through December 16, 2019), and is then subject to Council renewal, revision, or rescission.

After the original emergency rules were approved and took effect on September 17, 2019, New York’s Health Department did not delay in gathering the evidence to strongly recommend that the Governor’s Office extend the emergency rules to include menthol-flavored e-cigarette products. The Governor accepted this recommendation and requested the Health Commissioner to convene a meeting of the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) to finalize it as soon as possible.

The Health Commissioner’s recommendation presents new evidence showing that New York youth are increasingly using menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, and nearly half incorrectly believe these products to be less harmful than tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes. These data follow preliminary national data showing that more than three in five high school e-cigarette users used menthol or mint flavors in 2019, up from about two in five in 2017. The Governor also recognized flavors are central to tobacco company marketing—a problem across product categories.

It is unclear when the PHHPC will meet to vote on this issue. Meanwhile, the general public and policymakers alike are confronted with conflicting messages about menthol products. Accordingly, it’s an especially critical time to provide clear education about the public health benefits of regulating menthol products alongside other flavored products.

Protecting youth from fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes is a huge step in addressing the epidemic of youth nicotine addiction. But the flavor of menthol is a problem because of the increasing popularity of menthol among youth. Menthol products are easier to start and harder to quit.

  • The alarming percentage of high school e-cigarette users nationwide who reported using mint and menthol flavors increased to 63.9% in 2019, from 42.3% in 2017 and 51.2% in 2018
  • A study published in the June issue of the Journal of American College of Cardiology specifically links the e-cigarette flavors of menthol and cinnamon to increased heart disease risk

Click here for important information regarding menthol and mint flavors.

Find key messages to help educate yourself and others here.


Please reach out to STTAC if you have any questions regarding the emergency sales regulation or any other recent statewide action.





4 Journal of the American College of Cardiology, June, 2019, Modeling Cardiovascular Risks of E-cigarettes with Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells

Join us for a Neighborhood Conversation 

Hey Schuyler County, have you been impacted by tobacco products (including e-cigarettes) or know someone who has?

STTAC, Schuyler County Public Health, and Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs are partnering up to host two “Neighborhood Conversations.” Join the conversation to help us understand how tobacco is impacting you, your family, and your community.

To thank you for your time, we’re providing a meal and a chance to win a raffle basket. Interested? Call 607-737-2858 to register.

Local Reality Check Update


Reality Check meetings are back in session! We had our first meetings at Corning Painted-Post High, Ernie Davis Academy, and Watkins Glen Central School. We spent some valuable time getting to know our new friends and fellow youth ambassadors with some get-to-know you activities. Soon, we will be jumping into some very exciting local projects in regards to the retail environment and tobacco-free outdoors! Stay tuned to see what our Reality Check members take on!

RC youth helped recruit for the new year at open houses and during lunch periods.They helped explain the program to parents, teachers, and students that stopped by the table. These youth leaders also educated these people with a fun trivia wheel! This wheel had questions about the tobacco industry and the impact of tobacco on the environment.

RC youth also helped table at Harvest Festival in Corning. They educated the community about the benefits of tobacco-free outdoor spaces, like the parks in Corning! Tabling events like these help the teens practice their elevator speeches that we worked on over the summer.

Reality Check youth are leaders among their peers and positive change agents in our community. If you know of any youth in Chemung, Schuyler, or Steuben counties who would be interested in participating in this free youth leadership program, contact Samantha White at (607)737-2858 or


October 31 – 10am-12pm – STTAC Coalition meeting at Schuyler County Shared Services Complex


WENY – September 18, 2019

Stores Carrying Flavored E-Liquids Have Two Weeks to Clear their Shelves

Click here to view the article.


STTAC Contacts
Sarah Robbins, Program Director | (607)737-2028 X73480

Michelle Larimore, Community Engagement Coordinator | (607)737-2028 X73482

Samantha White, Reality Check Coordinator | (607)737-2028 X73483

Michele Austin, Program Assistant | (607)737-2028 X73481

Our mailing address is:
Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition
103 Washington Street
Elmira, NY 14901

Copyright © 2018 Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition, All rights reserved.