Corporation Counsel Hinds-Radix leads NYC in legal battle against e-cigarettes

July 12, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix announced that they are going after sales of illicit e-cigarettes.

Specifically, the pair aim to dismantle the illicit sale of flavored disposable e-cigarettes by four major distributors. The targeted companies, Magellan Technology Inc., Demand Vape, Mahant Krupa 56 LLC, also known as Empire Vape Distributors, and Star Vape, are alleged to have knowingly violated federal, state, and city laws governing the sale of these products, which are overwhelmingly popular among middle-school children and high school youth.

“There is nothing more important than the health of young New Yorkers, but while these four distributors have chosen profits over people, we won’t sit idly by as they continue to poison our children,” said Mayor Adams. “Even though the packaging and flavoring of some of these products might seem harmless, they are 100 percent harmful.

Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, a former Associate Justice of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and current NYC Corporation Counsel. Brooklyn Eagle photo by Robert Abruzzese.

“These products are packed with nicotine, a toxic and highly addictive chemical that is particularly damaging to adolescent minds and bodies,” Mayor Adams said. “We will do whatever it takes to keep our children safe, and today’s lawsuit seeks to put an end to the greedy, harmful, and openly illegal behavior of these four nicotine pushers.”

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This lawsuit underscores Hinds-Radix’s relentless determination to protect young New Yorkers from the harmful and addictive effects of nicotine.

“These defendants continue to supply retail outlets throughout the city with nicotine-laced disposable e-cigarettes in exotic fruit, candy, and dessert-like flavors that are clearly designed to appeal to young people,” she stated. “The aim of this lawsuit is to put a stop to this illegal conduct and protect our youth against these highly addictive and dangerous products.”

According to federal health authorities, such as the U.S. surgeon general and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these youth-friendly flavors in e-cigarettes are one of the primary factors contributing to the recent rise in youth nicotine addiction. Flavored e-liquids were used by 81% of first-time users, aged 12 to 17, and 85.3% of current youth users had used a flavored e-liquid in the past month.

Corporation Counsel Hinds-Radix’s firm stand against these distributors is backed by the startling statistics of youth e-cigarette use, which has significantly surged in recent years. Specifically, the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that one in 10 U.S. middle and high school students had used e-cigarettes in a 30-day sample period.

Despite the banning of flavored vape products by the FDA in 2020 and similar legislation in New York City and state, the harmful products continue to make their way into local retailers. This highlights the significance of the lawsuit spearheaded by Hinds-Radix in efforts to block the four defendants from further sales, and seek monetary damages and fines.

“The city’s lawsuit represents a significant enforcement step against distributors that are fueling an epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth in our city,” said former Justice Hinds-Radix.


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