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Locals react to vape ban being struck down

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Governor Cuomo's executive order banning flavored vape products was struck down last week by an acting State Supreme Court Justice.

One local vape shop owner says he sees this move as a small victory.

"By executive order you shouldn't be able to just take away things that people use," said Jake Severson, manager of Vapor King Vestal. "People have the freedom to do what they choose with their bodies."

However, the Broome County Health Department says the move is a setback for public health.

"It's a bit of a setback because Cuomo tried to put in an emergency ban and that's what was struck down by the courts," said Sharon Fischer, Public Health Educator for the Broome County Health Department. "We've seen 2,000 people in the hospital and a number of deaths so I think looking at that it's certainly something that needs to be addressed now."

Severson says he recognizes the health risks, but wants to see more research before getting on board with such a ban.

"There is concern with anything like this but we would like to see more concrete data before we go with a full ban or anything like that," he said.

Meanwhile, the health department says they have all the information they need.

"We're already familiar with a lot of the risks associated with use of the products especially among youth," said Fischer. "We will have more data in the future but we have enough information now to protect youth."

Despite being against Cuomo's executive order, Severson says he's open to whatever is in the public's best interest, as long as there is research to support it.

"We'll hear whatever research is available and I think everyone is interested in whatever the best public health scenario is at the end of the day," Severson said.

Both Severson and the Broome County Health Department tell 12 News they are looking forward to the issue being taken up by the state legislature.

Jack Arpey

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