Kinney Drugs, which has four Ithaca locations, has announced that it will no longer sell e-cigarettes or vaping products starting on August 1, 2019.
The company issued a press release stating that the sales would end in New York and Vermont. Both e-cigarettes and vapes have undergone a wave of popularity over the last few years, particularly with Juuls, which bill themselves as a safer alternative to tobacco that people can smoke while also looking dumb. In theory, these products can help people quit smoking actual tobacco, but there's some argument from opponents that e-cigarettes and vapes are still harmful enough themselves that they mitigate their benefits.
"This decision is in response to alarming statistics demonstrating that these products are increasingly being used by teens and children," the statement said. "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use among children grew nearly 38 percent between 2017 and 2018, driven largely by a surge in e-cigarette use, which increased 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school-aged children."
Kinney Drugs said they would continue to provide other products to help people quit smoking and pharmacists would still be available for consultation with patients who want to quit.
In the press release, the company deemed the moves "part of their ongoing effort to promote responsible access to tobacco and further support efforts to prevent youth access to tobacco products."
"We would like to thank Kinney Drugs for taking this important step," Franklin Fry said in the press release. Fry is the executive director of the American Heart Association in Syracuse. "Actions like this can help prevent our children from starting a deadly habit."