ALBANY — State health officials seeking to curb the rising vaping epidemic by banning the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes got a big thumbs up from New Yorkers, according to a new poll released Monday.
Sixty-one percent of New Yorkers in a Siena College poll said the Cuomo administration’s emergency executive order which would’ve placed a temporary moratorium on flavored e-cig sales is a great idea, compared to just 33 percent opposed.
That ban is delayed for the time being, thanks to a ruling last week by an appellate panel in Albany welcomed by vape shop owners.
Although a minority of New Yorkers have ever actually vaped — by a 31 percent to 68 percent margin — 50 percent of polled individuals identify e-cigarette and vaping use as a very serious public health issue, with 44 percent of people ages 18 to 34 in agreement.
These serious concerns over vaping outranked other practices, such as alcohol abuse, tobacco use, marijuana use and obesity, with those surveyed only rating opioid abuse higher as a looming public health problem at 67 percent.
New Yorkers named a variety of reasons why they vape.
Forty-three percent said e-cigarette use helped them quit cigarette smoking, a higher number among men than women by 48 percent to 35 percent.
That number rose with age, as 40 percent of 18- to 35-year-olds claimed the electronic device helps cut out cigarettes, and 67 percent of adults 65 and older in consensus.
Forty-three percent claimed vaping is healthier than smoking, and 38 percent said they vape because it simply tastes good.
Other individuals claim they partake in the activity primarily to inhale THC, a compound found in marijuana.
Fifty-six percent of New Yorkers surveyed say they support legal weed, compared to 36 percent against.
But 53 percent think recreational pot will lead to more use and abuse among young people.
Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a tristate blitz focused on figuring out pot legalization and vaping regulations, noting that although the substances are different, usage trends are similar as marijuana products can also be vaped.
He scheduled a pot summit on Oct. 17 with New Jersey and Connecticut.