Five arrested in Long Island for selling vaping products to underage customers

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: Different vaping pipes, or electronic cigarettes, are viewed for sale at the newly opened Henley Vaporium, on December 19, 2013 in New York City. The New York City Council on Thursday will vote on a bill that would add electronic cigarettes to the city's strict smoking ban. If the Mayor Bloomberg backed ban is approved, the city would give businesses and restaurants a year to put up signs indicating there is no smoking or vaping allowed. The Henley Vaporium features a smoking bar and a coffee bar where tea and snacks are served in a relaxed environment. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island — Police in Long Island have arrested five people for selling vaping products to underage customers this month.

Police conducted an investigation of nine businesses in Suffolk County after receiving complaints from residents. Five store clerks were arrested between Dec. 2 and Dec. 18 for selling vaping products, including liquid e-nicotine, to people under the legal age of 21.

While the federal minimum smoking age is 18, some states and localities – including New York City – have raised the age to 21 to reduce smoking rates among teenagers and young adults.

Local governments have been cracking down on the regulation of vaping products and electronic cigarettes. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law banning the use of e-cigarettes indoors in November.

“These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them,” Cuomo said.

Use of e-cigarettes among high school students increased by 900 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to the US Surgeon General.