Majority of NYers say vaping is a serious public health problem

Oct 7, 2019

More than half of New Yorkers, 61%, according to the latest Siena Research Institute poll, support the emergency executive order banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Institute Director Don Levy says a majority of New Yorkers feel vaping is a serious public health issue.
"Seventy-eight percent agree that this is serious. That's up dramatically from the last time we looked at it in February of 2018. Concern over vaping has risen by about 22 percent. That's at a time where concern over things like opioid abuse, alcohol abuse, tobacco, things like that, although high, have remained constant, vaping is something that really concerns the public right now," Levy said.

Siena Research Institute Director Don Levy
Credit File photo: Chris Caya/WBFO News

According to the poll 12 percent of New Yorkers vape on a regular basis. A temporary restraining order blocking New York's flavored e-cigarette ban was granted by a state Appellate Division judge, Oct. 3.

The poll also shows nearly two out of three New Yorkers have been touched by opioid abuse. Levy says 84% of respondents agree that the U.S. is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. And he says about one out of four New Yorkers say over the past two years they've been prescribed opioids.    
"And of those who've been prescribed, and I'm going to use the word only, only 63% were warned of the risks of using opioids by someone at their doctor's office. That's up from where it was a year and a half ago. But still not at 100%."  

Levy says New Yorkers are "split right down the middle" over whether legalizing recreational marijuana will or will not reduce opioid abuse.