Some opponents of Governor Cuomo’s executive order banning the sale of flavored vaping products, question why the industry is being targeted while things like flavored alcohol, cigars and chewing tobacco are allowed.

However, Cuomo said his order actually brings e-cigarettes under the same rules that cigarette companies have been under for a decade. In a Thursday interview with Spectrum News he pointed out the Food and Drug Administration in 2009, banned cigarettes with flavors other than menthol.

“The vaping companies have gotten around that because vaping is not a cigarette, they then can offer flavored vaping,” Cuomo said.

The governor defended the executive order, which officially took effect Tuesday. He said besides the fact a large percentage of adolescents are using e-cigarettes, there is no definitive research about the effects of “inhaling heated steam into your lungs with chemicals.”

“New York is not going to delay when you’re in the midst of a public health crisis that affects young people,” he said. “That’s exactly what’s happening with this vaping product.”

The vapor industry has estimated roughly 700 small businesses across the state could end up closing their doors because of the ban. Store owners have suggested they may take legal action.

Cuomo said he’s all about economic development, but these shops should still be able to function.

“They can still sell vaping products that are tobacco flavored or menthol flavored, which is the same flavors that you’re allowed under cigarettes,” he said. “Now if a small business says well we were marketing to people under 18, I say you were breaking the law and you weren’t supposed to be doing that anyway.”

Opponents of the ban have also argued a series of recent deaths appear to be connected to illicit and black market products and the governor is targeting the wrong things.