Flavor Ban Ineffective in New York: 99% of E-Cigarettes Are Flavored

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    The debate over the effectiveness of e-cigarette regulations has intensified with the recent revelation that New York City’s flavor ban has been largely ineffective. A study commissioned by Altria and conducted by WSPM found that 99% of e-cigarettes discarded in the city are flavored, defying the 2020 ban. This finding raises significant concerns about regulatory enforcement and the persistent popularity of flavored e-cigarettes.

    9% of E-Cigarettes Are Flavored

    The Flavored E-Cigarette Ban in New York

    Background of the Ban

    In 2020, New York State implemented a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, aiming to curb youth vaping and reduce nicotine addiction. The legislation was part of a broader effort to tackle the rising rates of e-cigarette use among teenagers, who are particularly attracted to flavored products.

    Objectives of the Ban

    The primary goals of the flavor ban were to:

    • Reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes to young people.
    • Decrease overall e-cigarette usage.
    • Limit the availability of potentially harmful flavored products.

    Enforcement Challenges

    Enforcing the ban has proven difficult, with many retailers and online platforms continuing to offer flavored products, often under the radar of regulatory authorities.

    Key Findings of the Study



    The study analyzed e-cigarette products discarded at 100 locations across New York City between February 1 and March 21. A total of 2,000 discarded packages were collected and examined.

    Prevalence of Flavored E-Cigarettes

    The analysis revealed that 99% of these e-cigarette packages were flavored, despite the ban. This overwhelming majority underscores the persistent demand for flavored products and the challenges in eliminating them from the market.

    Leading Brands

    Leading Brands
    • AIR BAR: Dominating with 50.2% of the discarded packages, AIR BAR is the most prevalent brand. Its most popular products are AIR BAR DIAMOND (29.0%) and AIR BAR NEX6500 (8.2%), with Cool Mint being a favored flavor.
    • EBCREATE: Holding a 6.8% share, EBCREATE’s BC5000 US EDITION is its best-seller, particularly the Miami Mint flavor.
    • Other Brands: Elf Bar, Lost Mary, RELX, and EBDESIGN also featured prominently, each with shares between 1.5% and 2.9%.

    Implications of the Findings

    The study’s results suggest that the flavor ban has not effectively curbed the availability or popularity of flavored e-cigarettes in New York City. This calls into question the effectiveness of current regulatory strategies and highlights the need for stricter enforcement and innovative approaches to address this issue.

    The Role of Chinese E-Cigarette Brands

    Market Dominance

    Market Dominance

    Chinese e-cigarette brands, such as AIR BAR, have a significant presence in the U.S. market. Their dominance is attributed to competitive pricing, appealing flavors, and widespread availability.

    Compliance and Regulation

    Altria’s spokesperson, David Sutton, criticized Chinese e-cigarette companies for allegedly ignoring regulations and contributing to the problem. This assertion points to a broader issue of international regulatory compliance and the challenges in policing global supply chains.

    The Future of E-Cigarette Regulation

    Strengthening Enforcement

    To combat the continued prevalence of flavored e-cigarettes, enforcement of existing regulations must be strengthened. This could include:

    • Increased inspections of retail outlets.
    • Stricter penalties for violations.
    • Enhanced monitoring of online sales.

    Innovative Solutions

    In addition to stricter enforcement, innovative solutions are needed to reduce the demand for flavored e-cigarettes. These could involve:

    • Public awareness campaigns about the dangers of vaping.
    • Support programs for those looking to quit e-cigarettes.
    • Collaboration with international bodies to regulate the global e-cigarette market.


    What is the current status of the flavored e-cigarette ban in New York?

    The ban on flavored e-cigarettes remains in effect, but enforcement challenges have led to widespread non-compliance.

    Why are flavored e-cigarettes still popular despite the ban?

    Flavored e-cigarettes remain popular due to their appeal to young users and the continued availability through both legal and illegal channels.

    Which brands are most commonly found in New York City’s discarded e-cigarette packages?

    AIR BAR is the most common, followed by EBCREATE, Elf Bar, Lost Mary, and RELX.

    What are the most popular flavors of e-cigarettes found in the study?

    Cool Mint and berry fruit flavors were among the most popular in the discarded packages.