NEW YORK — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday morning an emergency executive action to ban flavored electronic cigarettes from being sold in New York State.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is set to hold an emergency meeting later this week with the Public Health and Health Planning Council to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

This executive action comes as a severe pulmonary illness continues to sweep the nation. The CDC says there have been 380 reported cases in America, 64 of those cases are in New York.

Partnering with State Police and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the emergency executive action aims to increase enforcement efforts against retailers who sell to minors. Retailers could face criminal penalties for selling to those who are underage.

"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. At the same time, unscrupulous stores are knowingly selling vaping products to underage youth - those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted."

On July 16, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to raise the age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21. That legislation will go into effect on November 13. 

Under this announcement, Cuomo said he is also working to advance legislation to ban deceptive marketing of electronic cigarettes to teens and children.

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