Advocacy groups call on city leaders to ban vaping, flavored tobacco

On this rainy Halloween, member of of Flavors Hook Kids NYC — a coalition made up of local and national organizations dedicated to end what they say is a youth epidemic — called on council members to sign legislation designed to protect kids from flavored tobacco.

"The goals of the group are to ban two bills that are going to go before the city council - one would ban e-flavored cigarettes - and the other would restrict menthol," said Andre Richardson, who led the demonstration outside of Councilman Francisco Moya's office in Corona Queens, asking for his signature.

"The longer we wait, the more we're shortening black kids' life."

PIX11 cameras were there as the councilman greeted the group, some in big tobacco costumes, then, invited them into his district office, and after a brief meeting,

"We had a great conversation we're all in alignment," said the Councilman. "I'm going to be voting on the bill and signing the bills which was the intent anyway," he said.

A treat for advocates, who say flavored tobacco targets young people in communities of color.

"It was a good conversation and it was good to see advocacy at work," said Richardson.

On the state level, Governor Cuomo has vowed to put a ban on all flavored vapes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, dozens of people across the country have already died due to vape-related illnesses.

"If you care about your constituents and you care about the people of NYC, then you have to be able to sign on this bill immediately," said another member of Flavors Hook Kids.

Group leaders say they will continue to do demonstrations outside the offices of the other council members who have not yet signed the bill.

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